Law Firm of Scott T. Moorey

Deputies find $500k in marijuana plants in Estates grow house bust

Two people are facing drug charges after deputies uncovered 165 marijuana plants valued at nearly $500,000 at a Golden Gate Estates home Tuesday.

Marco Antonio Lainez, 41,and Pamela Evelyn Lainez, 38, who both reside at 288 14th Ave. N.E., were arrested and charged with one count each of marijuana trafficking and possession of narcotic equipment. Marco Lainez was also charged with possession of a structure for the purpose of trafficking marijuana.

Detectives with the Collier County Sheriff's Office Vice and Narcotics Bureau, with assistance from the CCSO Special Response Bureau, executed a narcotics search warrant at the residence and discovered that two rooms inside and the three-car garage had been converted into indoor marijuana grow rooms.

The plants have an estimated street value of $495,000, according to a sheriff's office release.

The grow rooms had equipment that detectives say are typically associated with growing marijuana.

Detectives found 29 1,000-watt high-intensity light bulbs that were powered by high-power transformers. There were large buckets, an electrical panel that controlled the electrical components that operated the grow rooms, mylar, two additional air conditioning units that provided cool air to the marijuana plants, and high-grade fertilizer.

Detectives also found items used for the grow operation in the kitchen pantry including a digital scale to weigh narcotics and heat sealer bags to package narcotics. The laundry room, located next to the garage, contained several gallon-size bottles of liquid fertilizer that were being used to fertilize the marijuana plants.

The indoor marijuana grow equipment was valued at approximately $30,000.

Written by 4/3/13

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