COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- Deputies arrested two people and uncovered 165 marijuana plants valued at nearly $500,000 at a Golden Gate Estates home Tuesday.
Detectives executed a narcotics search warrant at 288 14th Ave. N.E., and discovered that two rooms inside the residence and the three-car garage had been converted into indoor marijuana grow rooms. The search turned up a total of 165 plants with an estimated street value of $495,000.
The grow rooms had equipment that detectives say are typically associated with growing marijuana. Detectives found 29 1,000-watt high-intensity light bulbs that were powered by high-power transformers. There were large buckets, an electrical panel that controlled the electrical components that operated the grow rooms, mylar, two additional air conditioning units that provided cool air to the marijuana plants, and high-grade fertilizer.
Detectives also found items used for the grow operation in the kitchen pantry including a digital scale to weigh narcotics and heat sealer bags to package narcotics. The laundry room, located next to the garage, contained several gallon-size bottles of liquid fertilizer that were being used to fertilize the marijuana plants.
The indoor marijuana grow equipment was valued at approximately $30,000.
Marco Antonio Lainez, 41,and Pamela Evelyn Lainez, 38, who both reside at the residence, were home when the search warrant was executed. They are brother and sister, according to arrest reports.
They were arrested and charged with one count each of marijuana trafficking and possession of narcotic equipment. Marco Lainez was also charged with possession of a structure for the purpose of trafficking marijuana.
Neighbors said they had no idea it was happening.
"You never know what's going on and they think old ladies are so nosey."
One neighbor, who didn't want to go on camera, said she's been living on 14th Avenue Northeast for more than 20 years and says it's typically quiet.
"No, like I said I haven't noticed a lot of traffic in and out there," she said. "Oh gee wiz if I knew, maybe they'd split it with me!"