Grow house raided in Basswood

OKEECHOBEE — Two Okeechobee men have been taken into custody for their alleged connection to a suspected marijuana grow house found in a home on N.W. 33rd Ave.

The names of the two men had not been released as of newspaper deadline because they had not been officially charged.

A detective with the Narcotics Task Force said they found 117 suspected pot plants that had an estimated street value of $171,000.

Michele Bell, public information officer for the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO), said the suspected grow house was found Wednesday night, April 20, after deputies responded to an animal complaint in the area.

She said around 7 p.m. deputies were standing in the street, some 30 to 40 feet from the home, and could smell a strong odor of marijuana coming from a three-bedroom, two-bath, house at 2874 N.W. 33rd Ave.

Bags of suspected marijuana along with different items associated with the operation of a grow house were placed on the lawn of a Basswood home Thursday, April 21. The home was raided late Wednesday night and 117 suspected pot plants with an estimated street value of $171,000 were seized. Courtesy photo/OCSO.

Bags of suspected marijuana along with different items associated with the operation of a grow house were placed on the lawn of a Basswood home Thursday, April 21. The home was raided late Wednesday night and 117 suspected pot plants with an estimated street value of $171,000 were seized. Courtesy photo/OCSO.

The Okeechobee Narcotics Task Force was contacted and proceeded to get a search warrant.

Mrs. Bell said the warrant was approved and around 11:45 p.m. members of the OCSO Special Response Team (SRT) entered the home to execute the warrant.

Task Force detectives then searched the home and found plants in the home’s living room, as well as in both bathrooms and all three bedrooms.

“They also found all the equipment necessary for a grow house,” said Mrs. Bell.

She went on to say the plants ranged in size from seedlings to 5-foot adult plants. Some of the alleged hydroponic pot had been harvested and placed into bags to be resold.

According to the Okeechobee County Property Appraiser’s web site the home is owned by Rafael and Consuelo Moreno. However, pointed out Mrs. Bell, those are not the names of the two individuals who were being held Thursday afternoon.

Eric Kopp is a staff writer for the Okeechobee News

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