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March 22, 2007
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Fla. agency finds $542,000 marijuana-growing operation

A tip led to a home 
By Kelly Griffith
The Orlando Sentinel, Fla. 
ORLANDO, Fla. - Five men were arrested after law-enforcement agents discovered a sophisticated marijuana-growing operation in a Lakeland home this week, authorities said.

Pot plants valued at $542,000 were seized.

A multi-agency task force made the arrests Monday in Lakeland.

Detectives had been tipped off about the location of a "grow house" -- a home being used for growing marijuana indoors -- on Ewell Road.

Detectives waited outside the house and saw several people taking trash bags from the garage to two vehicles.

Following the vehicles, detectives pulled them over and found marijuana stems and plant trimmings in the bags -- leftovers from a growing operation, deputies said.

Four men in the vehicles were taken to the house and questioned with the homeowner, Elias Rubio.

Detectives found a sophisticated marijuana lab, with lights, dehumidifiers and paperwork in the house, deputies said.

All five men arrested are from the Miami or Naples areas. They are being held without bail in the Polk County Jail.

They are charged with trafficking in cannabis and conspiracy to traffic cannabis.

Copyright 2007 Orlando Sentinel

Full story: Fla. agency finds $542,000 marijuana-growing operation

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