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Neighbors stunned by grow house bust

Fifteen days following heavy deputy detail and a SWAT team with guns ready outside 4019 22nd Ave. NE in Golden Gate Estates, the man believed to be behind a sophisticated marijuana grow house is in jail. Sheriff's officials said homeowner Aramis Rivero-Perez finally turned himself in Wednesday.

Neighbors are still in shock more than two weeks later.

"They are nice people, very calm," said neighbor Alisha Guerra.

"It's very quiet, yes it's very quiet," neighbor Delia Martinez added.

According to the arrest report, Perez converted his backyard garage into a major growhouse. Deputies discovered two large growing areas on the first floor and another upstairs. On top of that they found Mylar sheets, high intensity light bulbs, fertilizer, plus transformers.

The plants themselves were somewhere else. Detectives said they noticed the soil behind the shed looked unsettled. When they dug up the dirt they said they found 81 pot plants and even more growing equipment. Investigators said the evidence showed the grow operation may have been dismantled not long before authorities moved in.

Rivero-Perez was not home when the sheriff's office served its search warrant May 29 and neither was the other listed homeowner Kenia Gonzalez. It was immediately known if Gonzalez could face any charges.

Altogether sheriff's officials seized 57 pounds of marijuana valued at $243,000. The growing equipment came in at an additional $25,000.

"It's scary especially when you have little ones. You never think this is going to happen especially around here," said Guerra.

Sheriff's officials told us that day the takedown was a part of an ongoing case. They said a separate marijuana bust days prior just three miles away could've been related, and the investigation was still open. The Collier County Sheriff's Office was unavailable for comment Thursday.

There was nobody at 22nd Ave NE Thursday. Florida Power and Light cut power to the property after the takedown.

Article Source: www.nbc-2.com

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