Saturday, March 17, 2012

Cops smell marijuana, bust Parkland grow house

By Lisa J. Huriash, Staff Writer

PARKLAND — Federal authorities and the Broward Sheriff's Office arrested three men this week who are alleged to have been growing 1,260 marijuana plants in a residential section of Parkland.
The plants – discovered inside the master bedroom at 6683 NW 66TH Way – filled three large garbage bags and weighed 34 pounds.

The men arrested Wednesday were Daniel Sanchez, 35; Ignacio Gonzalez, 50; and Nelson Diaz, 31, according to the criminal complaint released by the U.S. Attorney's Office.

According to the complaint, officials received an anonymous tip about the grow house. They subpoenaed Florida Power & Light for the billing and power consumption information for that house, and other homes in the area to compare it. "The subpoena indicated the power consumption was extremely high, but abruptly dropped for the remaining four months," the complaint said.

Officials said that fluctuation could have been the result of "power diversion" where marijuana growers bypass the meter so the amount of electricity used for lights, fans, timers and air conditioning units can't be detected.
The house backed up to an FP&L station so law enforcement could stand at the back of the house and smell "the odor of freshly grown marijuana coming from the direction of the target location" before they obtained a search warrant.


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