[UPDATE] Elaborate Pot Grow House Exposed

By: Gabrielle Sarann Email
By: Gabrielle Sarann Email

UPDATE 11/10, 11:48 a.m. --

Gilberto Martinez, 46, and his wife Carol Fernandez, 44, both of Coral Gables, are charged with trafficking and manufacturing marijuana, said Lowndes County Sheriff Chris Prine.

They're behind bars at the Lowndes County jail.

Bond has not been set yet.

A 3,500 square foot marijuana grow house has deputies investigating a sophisticated drug operation on the 700 block of Howell Road, according to Lowndes County Sheriff Chris Prine.

"It's a scary thought that people around here are growing marijuana to sell and they knew it's illegal," said neighbor Linda Martin, who lives up the street.

In the seven rooms that make-up the house, investigators uncovered an entire harvest.

They seized nearly 900 pot plants and 56 pounds of dried weed, including Columbian Red, one of the most sought-after varieties.

As drug agents toured the grow house, they explained how the plumbing system and lights were set-up to support upwards of $10 million in marijuana.

Even geese were kept as an alarm system to alert the suspected drug dealers to intruders.

Deputies say a husband and wife, whose names have not been released, were arrested Monday night.

They maintained the home to harvest these plants and stole electricity to pump water into the grow house.

"We're still working on this case," said Prine. "We're following leads that of course finger prints and other evidence that's in the home trying to trace exactly where it came from."

Neighbors say it's disturbing how accessible drugs are.

"If it's growing right here that means it's available for sale," said neighbor
Tomas Malcolm, who lives down the road. "You know, there's a demand for it. So, if it's running that rampant, this close, then you know, there's a market for it."

"No wonder kids these days are having such a hard time when there's people in their homes, right here next door us us, you might as well say, selling this stuff!," said Martin.

Investigators say the two suspects are being held at the Lowndes County jail.

They face drug trafficking and manufacturing charges.

More arrests are expected.

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