Thursday, December 17, 2009

'Operation Reindeer' Nets More Than $100K In Pot In Collier County

Working in conjunction with the Miami High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) office, the Collier County Sheriff’s Office assisted in a region-wide marijuana indoor grow house operation Wednesday.

As a result of “Operation Reindeer,” CCSO deputies dismantled two indoor grow houses, made two arrests and uncovered $117,000 worth of pot in Golden Gate Estates.

Ernesto Quesada, 38, 3560 20th Ave. N.E., was arrested and charged with marijuana trafficking and possession of narcotic paraphernalia.

Arrest reports said deputies uncovered 32 marijuana plants weighing nearly 60 pounds inside Quesada’s residence. The marijuana had an estimated street value of $96,000.

Deputies also discovered equipment used to grow the marijuana, including transformers, high-intensity light bulbs, buckets, and fertilizer, valued at $10,000.

Quesada was also charged with possession of a place for manufacturing a controlled substance when a minor is present or resides there after deputies learned children were living at the residence, reports said.

Deputies arrested Jose Nodarse, 44, 1180 47th Ave. N.E., and charged him with cultivation of marijuana and possession of narcotic paraphernalia.

Deputies found seven marijuana plants growing inside the garage attached to Nodarse’s residence, reports said.

The marijuana weighed 16 pounds and had an estimated street value of $21,000, reports said.

Deputies also recovered three high-intensity light bulbs used to aid in the growing process, reports said.

Ernesto Quesada

Jose Nodarse

Deputies uncovered 32 marijuana plants with an estimated street value of $96,000 from inside a residence at 3560 20th Ave. N.E., Golden Gate Estates on Wednesday. Photo by CCSO.