Over $1M in marijuana plants found in four-home bust | News
Citrus County, FL -- Detectives arrested one Friday during a search of four houses in a Citrus County development that uncovered over a $1 million worth of marijuana plants.
According the sheriff's office, after a year-long investigation, detectives discovered three sophisticated grow operations housing over 725 marijuana plants in all stages of growth and a fourth houses containing the cut and ready-to-sell marijuana in the Pine Ridge development of Beverly Hills.
Photo Gallery: $1 million marijuana bust
Detectives hit the four houses, all within a two-mile radius, after receiving a Crime Stoppers alert and other anonymous tips.
The first house, at 3355 W. Bird's Nest Dr., yielded 110 plants. The second at 5135 W. Hacienda Drive housed 462 plants and the third at 4647 W. Bonanza Dr. contained 153 plants.
Gordon Collins, 36, was arrested at 4537 W. Tomahawk Dr., the fourth home, that held the processed, ready-to-sell marijuana. He is being charged with Trafficking in Marijuana among other charges. More arrests are expected.
Tactical Impact Unit Sgt. Justin Ferrara said the people involved in this were at the top of their game.
"The way they tapped into the utility's power source was very impressive," Ferrara said. "They were experts at camouflaging and concealing the fact that they were stealing power."
Detectives say Progress Energy played a significant role in the investigation helping detectives determine if unusually high levels of power were in use.
In all, detectives estimate that over $1 million in marijuana was seized and approximately $300,000 worth of electricity was stolen due to the grow house operations.