CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. - Charlotte County Sheriff’s Narcotics Unit detectives raided a South Punta Gorda Heights home, arrested nine on 32 charges, and seized 132 marijuana plants in various stages of growth.
Detectives, assisted by Traffic Unit and Marine Unit deputies served the search warrant at 15524 Lime Dr. at 12:30 p.m. Friday. In the home were two bedrooms converted to marijuana grow operation that included light systems, power converters, timers, fans, thermometers, multiple chemicals for cultivation, and CO2 tanks. Detectives also seized Xanax, Oxycodone, Morphine and Roxicodone pills, a scale, a box of rolling papers, over two dozen smoking pipes, a drug sniffing straw, and several baggies containing a total of 75 grams of marijuana. The FPL electric meter was tampered with to steal electricity.
Arrested (including bond set) were:
Raellynn Denise Backhurst, 32, South Punta Gorda Heights. (18,000 bond posted)
William G. Backhurst, 54, Punta Gorda. ($22,000 bond posted)
17-year-old, South Punta Gorda Heights. (Released to Parent)
Ashley Summer Green, 23, Punta Gorda. (Charlotte Ranchettes). ($4,500 posted)
Paul Robert Hisler, 19, Punta Gorda. ($3,500 bond posted)
Robert Wayne Rhinesmith, 41, South Punta Gorda Heights. $3,500 bond posted)
Regina Lynn Hodges, 18, Arcadia. ($3,500 bond posted)
Joshua Byron South, 18, Arcadia. ($3,500 bond posted)
Robert Carlton Higgins, 41, Punta Gorda. ($2,000 bond posted)
William Backhurst and Raelynn Backhurst were both charged with Cultivation of Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana With Intent to Distribute, Possession of Marijuana Over 20 Grams, Possession of Morphine, Xanax, Oxycodone, Drug Paraphernalia and Theft of Utilities. Raymond Hisler was also charged with Cultivation of Marijuana, Possession of Marijuana With Intent to Distribute, Possession of Marijuana Over 20 Grams, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Paul Hisler, Higgins, South, Hodge, and Rhinesmith were all charged with Possession of Marijuana and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Green was also charged with Possession of Roxicodone. All eight adults posted bond and the juvenile was released to his parents.
This is the fifth grow house shut down this year by CCSO Narcotics Unit detectives. If anyone has information about illegal drug activity, please call the CCSO Narcotics Unit at 941-575-2157, or Crime Stoppers at 800-780-TIPS (8477).