COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- A 57-year-old man was in custody Tuesday after detectives busted a marijuana grow house in Golden Gate Estates and uncovered more than $260,000 worth of pot.
Fernando Lopez Guardado of Miami was being booked into the Collier County jail late Tuesday afternoon on charges of trafficking in marijuana and possession of narcotic paraphernalia.
Detectives with the Collier County Sheriff’s Office Vice Narcotics Bureau executed a search warrant at 2520 Desoto Blvd. around 7 a.m. The search turned up 69 marijuana plants in a bedroom on the north side of the residence which had been converted into an indoor grow operation. The room contained transformers and high-intensity light bulbs as well as mylar, which was used to insulate the indoor grow operation.
Detectives also found a shotgun and 9 mm assault rifle inside the residence. Both firearms were loaded. A digital scale and an additional 68 grams of marijuana were discovered in the kitchen area.
A search of a structure behind the residence turned up an additional grow operation that contained 18 marijuana plants. The room also contained high-intensity light bulbs, high-power transformers and mylar insulation as well as high-grade fertilizers used to feed the marijuana plants.
Guardado was in the master bedroom of the residence at the time of the search. Detectives said he was the caretaker of the operation.
The 87 marijuana plants had an estimated street value of approximately $261,000.
The indoor grow equipment was valued at $20,000.
So far this year VNB detectives have shut down seven marijuana grow operations in Collier County, making six arrests and uncovering a total of 211 plants with a combined estimated street value of $633,000.