[UPDATE] Pot Bust in Leon County

UPDATED 10.28.2010 by Julie Montanaro

Deputies dismantle a grow house in Tallahassee with three-quarters of a million dollars worth of pot inside.

Ours were the only cameras rolling as drugs agents brought the plants - and their accused cultivator - out of the house.

Drug agents say the entire second floor of this home on Crescent Hills Drive was dedicated to growing pot, three bedrooms and a bathroom filled with marijuana plants that ranged from a couple of inches high to a couple of feet.

"We're probably 125 plants right now and they range from about five thousand dollars a plant," said LCSO SGT Ed Cook

"I'm sure that's a lot of money they've been making off it up until now," said neighbor Anthony McKee.

"I'm kind of surprised this is happening right across the street. I had no idea," said neighbor Stephan Leger.

Neighbors are shaking their heads in disbelief those who live just doors away so there was no sign of this $750-thousand dollar operation, no late night visitors, no strong odor and no glow from the lights that lined the second floor.

"They've been here for a couple of months but I never saw lights at all upstairs now that I think about it," Leger said.

"Nothing to draw attention to themselves. so I guess they were good at doing that at least," said neighbor Iliana Tegov.

LCSO drug agents spent nearly eight hours documenting and dismantling the lighting and irrigation systems, removing Co2 tanks and fertilizer, and hauling bags of marijuana out the front door. They seized about 125 plants as well as ziploc bags filled with buds ready for sale.

It all started when a neighbor complained about a man yelling and banging on the door and it ended with 40 year old Shaun Riddle being escorted out in handcuffs facing four felonies.

"It's hard to imagine something like that happening in the neighborhood you live in. you think that happens other places, not where you live in," neighbor Kayla Anderson said.

Riddle already posted a $6000 dollar bond. Court records show he spent just two hours and 11 minutes in jail after his arrest.
Tallahassee, Florida --

Leon County drug agents are dismantling a marijuana grow house right now on the city's west side.

Eyewitness News Reporter Julie Montanaro is live on the scene.

A source tipped Eyewitness News off to what was happening on Crescent Hills Drive.

Deputies arrived at 1509 Crescent Hills Drive early this morning, October 28, after complains were called in about a man yelling and banging on the door. When they got here, the smell of marijuana overwhelmed them. Once deputies got a search warrant, they discovered the entire upstairs- all three bedrooms and a bathroom were filled with marijuana plants, which ranged from a couple of inches high to a couple of feet.

The 125 plants are worth between 25 hundred and 5 thousand dollar a piece.

The man who lives here is still detained inside the house. He will likely face charges, but has not yet been arrested.

LCSO has issued a release:

On October 28, 2010 the Leon County Sheriff’s Office responded to a disturbance involving a suspicious person in the 1500 block of Crescent Hills Drive. The caller indicated they could hear someone yelling and screaming in between the residences and was concerned.

Responding deputies located Shaun Riddle, 40, at 1509 Crescent Hills Drive. Deputies immediately noticed evidence of a marijuana growing operation and contacted detectives from LCSO’s Vice Unit.
Vice detectives obtained a search warrant for the residence and have dismantled a sophisticated hydroponic marijuana growing operation. Detectives seized potting materials, grow lights, fans, an
elaborate irrigation system and multiple stages of growing marijuana plants. They also seized multiple bags of the high grade marijuana already packaged for sale. Detectives estimate the street
value of the seized plants and packaged marijuana to be approximately $750, 000.00.

Sheriff Larry Campbell stated, “Indoor grow operations are often hard to discover. A simple disturbance complaint has prevented several hundred thousand dollars worth of drugs from reaching our streets. This is why it is so important for the citizens to get involved and call law
enforcement when something out of the ordinary happens.”

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  • by nedo Location: colo on Nov 4, 2010 at 09:22 AM
    Shaun, keep your chin up! Folks, here in Colorado, this would be legal. We have legalized for medical use, and sell it out of stores on the street. Taxed by the Gov it produces revenue.. We don't have an up-surge in crime as a result, in fact gang crime is down. And for anyone who finds fault with Shaun's character, I know him! A finer more decent human being would be hard to find in Tallahassee! Just because what he did is illegal, does not make it wrong. It used to be illegal for blacks to sit in the front of buses down there in the south too....
  • by diggerw900 Location: FL on Oct 31, 2010 at 06:23 AM
    I just want to know who figures out the value of this pot. Anyone who knows anything about a plant that flowers , and the flowers are where the money is knows that 2 foot high plants have NO flowers or buds worth a dime let alone three quarters of a million dollars. LCSO get a grip and stop reporting this BULL. Your just making it look more lucrative than it REALLY is.
  • by chuck Location: Tallahassee on Oct 29, 2010 at 07:00 AM
    That's a lot of money that won't be traveling through our local economy. Whether you like it or not, people that smoke spend money and most of the time spend it frivolously. They buy munchies, slurpees, video games, movie tickets, etc. And the people they buy it from spend their profits too. They need to legalize it, tax the bujeezus out of it and use the money for education and health care. The government wants out of this economic slump. Well, here's the answer. If these ameteur punks can make that kind of money off of it, imagine how much the gov't could make nationwide.
  • by Anonymous on Oct 29, 2010 at 05:28 AM
    its a plant people boo all plants should be legal
  • by In the know Location: tally on Oct 29, 2010 at 05:23 AM
    Nothing will happen to the owner unless it is proven he is "in" on the crime. Pest control only comes in when you ask them to treat the inside. No bugs, no reason to go inside.
  • by Anonymous on Oct 28, 2010 at 06:52 PM
    The only thing that his supporters can say is 'he wasn't hurting anybody". This is a lie. It is illegal to posses this stuff, and what do you think he was going to do with it. Sell it to someone else who would then be breaking the law. He is putting others at risk of being arrested and thereby hurting others. It would be easier to convince me that he was not hurting anybody else if he only had 1 or 2 plants to supply only himself.
  • by ? on Oct 28, 2010 at 06:35 PM
    What will they do to the owner of the house?
  • by Mugsey Location: Tally on Oct 28, 2010 at 03:57 PM
    This guy is a really good person. More than some other people I know around here. Had no idea he was growing, but it doesn't change my opinion. Who was he hurting?!?!?
  • by Angel Location: Quincy on Oct 28, 2010 at 03:10 PM
    This really Amazes me...I wAtched the six o'clock news on this and the neighbors said....uhhhhhhhhh. I didn't ever see anything suspicious....but you go to report something here in Gadsden linty and can give them all the details....and there are like...oh...ok...we will get to it when we have an officer to respond...go figure......and. Y the time they get to your neighborhood....they have moved on....geisha I do not get our law enforcement especially here in Gadsden county.....ya think we need more? Hells ya...they can hire me to be an undercover......geesh....
  • by Anonymous on Oct 28, 2010 at 02:51 PM
    How much in tax would I pay, if marijuana was legal, for each oz. or pound of marijuana i purchased? How much tax statewide would it generate? you have no clue do e you. This is what I'm talking about. the tax system would have to be revamped to make sense of it.
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