Crime

Pot raid seizes plants, weed and cash in Fla.

A tip Tuesday led to the latest raid of an indoor pot farm, according to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office.

The home on Fern Court near the western shore of Lake Tohopekaliga yielded 57 plants and 16 half-pound bags of pot, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Twis Lizasuain. Agents of the Osceola County Investigative Bureau also seized $8,000 in cash, she said.

The resident, Yoarkys Nunez-Dominguez, was arrested on charges of cultivation of cannabis and theft of utilities, she said.

More than 20 marijuana grow houses have been busted in Osceola County since early 2009. The illegal trade is especially lucrative with high-grade marijuana selling for up to $4,500 a pound.

In almost every local case, electricity stolen from utility lines powers indoor lighting systems needed to grow the plants. The plants seized Tuesday ranged from 1 to 6-feet-tall and were separated by size in three rooms, records show.

The defendants frequently turn out to be Cuban-born refugees, who work for South Florida drug rings. Law enforcement records show that up to 90 percent of the those arrested in grown houses across Florida arrived from Cuba within the last five years.

Nunez-Dominguez, 32, was born in Cuba, according to his arrest record. He was booked into the Osceola County Jail. The amount of bail could not be learned Tuesday evening.

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