Law Firm of Scott T. Moorey

3 Port Charlotte men arrested during grow house bust

Two Charlotte County deputies who were searching for a wanted person discovered a grow house in Port Charlotte on Thursday.

The sheriff's office said the deputies smelled a strong odor of marijuana coming from a home on Hepner Avenue while in the area. The SWAT team and narcotics unit then responded to the scene.

According to the report, two men dressed in full-body chemical suits and gloves ran out a side door and were taken into custody behind the home, where they were taking off the suits and attempting to stash them under a shed. The two men were identified as Omar Eduardo Sanchez, 55, and Ryan Adam Smith, 28.

During the search of the residence, detectives found the entire main living space of the home had been converted into a marijuana growing operation. There were grow lights suspended from the ceiling. Additional air conditioning units were found and electricity had been diverted from the meter, running out of the ceiling of one of the bedrooms. Detectives seized 122 marijuana plants at 178.5 pounds.

A third man, Clyde Wiley Dennis, 43, also of the same address, arrived at the house while detectives were searching it. He was also taken into custody.

Dennis, Sanchez and Smith were all booked into the Charlotte County Jail on charges of trafficking in cannabis, cultivation of cannabis and possession of drug paraphernalia. The total bond for each man was set at $28,500. Dennis and Smith have bonded out.

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