Thursday, June 17, 2010

Marijuana Sweep Nets $147K In Pot, 1 Arrest In Collier

A regional law enforcement sweep targeting indoor marijuana grow houses has netted 49 pot plants valued at $147,000 and resulted in one arrest in Collier County.

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office joined federal, state and other local law enforcement agencies in Operation Rake. The operation, spearheaded by the Southwest Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, was conducted throughout Collier, Miami-Dade, Broward, Monroe, and Palm Beach counties.

CCSO deputies, along with members of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Seminole Police Department, dismantled two grow houses in Collier during the operation.

Detectives with the CCSO Vice and Narcotics Bureau executed a search warrant at 6181 Hidden Oaks Lane, Golden Gate, on Wednesday. They discovered two rooms inside the residence were being used to grow marijuana

Detectives seized 23 marijuana plants with an estimated street value of $69,000. They also discovered high-intensity lights, light hoods, transformers and other equipment used to grow marijuana valued at $3,000.

Michael Angel Mercado, 42, who lives at the residence, was arrested and charged with manufacturing marijuana and possession of narcotic paraphernalia.

VNB detectives executed a search warrant at 4995 4th Ave. S.E., Golden Gate Estates, where they discovered the residence was being used to grow marijuana. Deputies seized 26 marijuana plants with an estimated street value of $78,000 as well as $4,000 worth of equipment used to grow marijuana.