Friday, February 15, 2008

Grow House Bust In Estates

An air conditioner that was in use on an unusually cold morning helped lead investigators to a suspected marijuana grow house operation in Golden Gate Estates.

Delfin H. Puentes, 39, of Fort Myers, was arrested Thursday and charged with marijuana trafficking-more than 25 pounds and possession of narcotic paraphernalia.

Reports say Puentes operated a marijuana grow house at 1781 8th Ave. N.E.

Earlier this month a deputy on patrol noticed that an air conditioning unit was in use at the house on a cold morning. As the deputy approached the residence, he could smell the odor of growing marijuana. The house appeared to be vacant at the time.

Around 10 a.m. Thursday a blue Nissan Pathfinder driven by Puentes left the house, traveling 51 mph on 8th Ave. N.E., where the posted speed is 35 mph. Deputies pulled over the Pathfinder and while speaking to Puentes could smell a strong odor of marijuana on his clothing.

Deputies asked Puentes if he lived at 1781 8th Ave. N.E. and Puentes said that he used to live there. Deputies asked Puentes if they could follow him back to the house, and he agreed.

A search of the house turned up an active marijuana growing operation. Deputies seized 50 marijuana plants, with a street value of $150,000, and paraphernalia used in growing marijuana.

There were also additional air conditioning units, typically used to grow marijuana.