Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Grow House Bust Nets Arrest, Nearly $1.3M In Pot

Detectives uprooted two operations used to grow marijuana at a Golden Gate Estates residence Wednesday in one of the largest pot production busts in Collier County Sheriff’s Office history.

Deputies confiscated a total of 424 marijuana plants weighing 66.70 pounds with an estimated street value of $1.27 million from the two-story residence at 985 Honeybee Drive.

Lazaro Cordero-Becerra, 46, who lives at the residence, was arrested and charged with trafficking in marijuana and possession of narcotic paraphernalia.

Detectives from CCSO’s Vice and Narcotics Bureau, along with SWAT members, executed a search warrant at the residence around 7 a.m.

Detectives discovered an indoor marijuana grow operation on the first floor of the residence. The search turned up 116 plants and equipment used to grow marijuana, including high-intensity light bulbs, fertilizer, power transformers, and buckets. They also found an electrical panel that controlled the lights and timers that controlled the electricity being diverted for the operation.

A second marijuana grow operation was discovered inside a travel camper parked in back of the residence. Detectives discovered 308 plants inside the camper, along with high-intensity light bulbs, pots, fertilizer, power transformers and other equipment used to grow marijuana.

The camper was designed as a nursery for small marijuana plants, detectives said.

Detectives also discovered a 12-gauge shotgun and ammunition.

The indoor grow equipment had an estimated value of $20,000.

Cordero-Becerra was at the residence when the search warrant was executed, detectives said. He was previously arrested on a charge of marijuana trafficking by the Miami-Dade Police Department in 2008.

Cordero-Becerra was being booked into the Collier County jail Wednesday afternoon.