A Florida man was arrested after an unusual amount of electricity was being used to fuel a sophisticated ‘grow house’ next to his home.
On Tuesday, September 14, 2021, agents of the Unified Drug Enforcement Strike Team (UDEST) arrested Alexis Diaz for Marijuana Cultivation, Trafficking in Cannabis, Owning a Structure to Manufacture or Traffic Drugs, and Grand Theft of Power.
Agents also arrested Rigoberto Rodriguez for Marijuana Cultivation.
On September 14, 2021, UDEST met with employees of Clay Electric in reference to a power theft investigation.
Agents learned that Clay Electric noticed an irregularity in the service at 6659 NE 90th Street Road and a follow-up investigation suggested the power was diverted to a large metal building on the property for the purpose of growing marijuana.
UDEST agents responded with Clay Electric to conduct their power theft investigation. Contact was attempted at the main residence and there was no answer. Upon approaching the metal building, voices and doors slamming could be heard inside and the odor of raw marijuana was detected.
Agents knocked on the door and a long while later Diaz and Rodriguez came outside. Diaz advised he was the owner of everything inside the building and a search warrant was obtained.
During the execution of the search warrant, UDEST agents discovered a sophisticated, marijuana-growing operation with two rooms filled with marijuana plants.
A large quantity of equipment used to grow marijuana was found inside and destroyed.
In total, 275 marijuana plants were taken as evidence. Diaz and Rodriguez were placed under arrest and transported to the Marion County Jail.
UDEST is an initiative of the North Florida High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) and comprised of local, state, and federal law enforcement professionals from the Ocala Police Department, Marion County Sheriff’s Office, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Drug Enforcement Administration, and Homeland Security Investigations.
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