Marijuana Grow House Goes Up In Smoke

August 10th, 2009 by

PALM BAY, Fla. — A house in Palm Bay containing marijuana plants caught fire Friday morning. According to police, hidden inside the house on Seabold Road was an entire farm of marijuana plants.

Drug agents say they are busting more pot houses than ever before. Grow lights were used to raise about 20 marijuana plants in the Palm Bay home’s garage.

Neighbor Michelle Thurber said she dialed 911 when she saw the flames coming from the home.

“I said, ‘Why does this guy have Christmas trees in this garage?’ He says, ‘They aren’t Christmas trees they are marijuana plants. It’s a grow house.’ Oh my God! On my street,” she said.

The plants were six feet tall in some cases. They were boxed up as evidence and investigators say the drug dealers caused the blaze.

“The marshal walked in and noticed the wiring was tampered with. The circuits were loaded,” said Yvonne Martinez, Palm Bay Police.

Pot houses are a growing problem in Central Florida. There were 48 in 2008 in Brevard County. In Volusia County, they’ve already busted 43 in 2009.

According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, grow houses are popping up now more than ever because the business is so lucrative. In one-year’s time, a person can make enough money to buy about 20 vehicles from a car lot.

The average hydroponic lab generates about a half-a-million dollars per year.

“You wouldn’t think someone was growing $1million worth of marijuana,” Thurber said.

Police are still searching for the drug dealers. Investigators don’t believe anyone was living in the home and believe they were just using the house to grow pot.

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