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Clearwater man accused of growing marijuana in his home

CLEARWATER

Man accused of growing marijuana

A 51-year-old man is accused of setting up a marijuana-growing operation in his home, authorities said. Albert L. Cooper of 1406 Monroe Ave. was arrested Wednesday and charged with cultivation of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. Clearwater police said they found 40 plants in various stages of growth inside Cooper's bedroom after executing a search warrant Wednesday evening. They said they also found indoor grow lights, irrigation systems, a scale, fans, chemicals and a generator that were being used to grow the plants. Cooper said he had been growing the marijuana for several weeks but that it was for his own use, arrest reports said. Cooper has previous convictions on charges of temporary license tag fraud, obtaining property with a worthless check, driving while a license is suspended or revoked and dealing in stolen property, Pinellas County court records show.

DUNEDIN

Ex-boyfriend faces stalking charge

A Palm Harbor man was arrested on an aggravated stalking charge after he broke into his ex-girlfriend's house with a gun, authorities said. Michael J. Morakis, 43, of 346 Hidden Brook Drive was also charged with armed burglary. According to arrest reports, Morakis had been stalking the woman since they broke up in March by "following, calling, texting and sending computer messages." About 5:45 a.m. Wednesday, the woman, 34, awoke to find Morakis standing over her bed, the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said. Morakis had entered her home on Wildwood Court in Dunedin and placed a semiautomatic handgun next to her on her bed, the Sheriff's Office said. The woman told deputies that Morakis began asking about "her relationship with another person," according to reports. The reports do not say how Morakis got into the home. They also don't say what happened next, but they don't indicate that the woman was injured. However, the woman told deputies that she feared for her safety and the safety of her children. On Thursday, Morakis was being held without bail in the Pinellas County Jail. The woman received a temporary restraining order against Morakis on Wednesday, Pinellas court records show. Another woman received temporary injunctions against Morakis in 2002 and 2005, but they were later dismissed, according to records. Pinellas court records show that Morakis pleaded guilty to a disorderly conduct charge in 2003.

City officials seek public feedback

The city is seeking public feedback as it searches for the perfect brand to define Dunedin. You can visit surveymonkey.com/s/DunedinResidentSurvey to complete a community survey through Aug. 20. Once you begin the survey, you cannot come back to it, so allow about 15 minutes to complete it.

Clarification

A story in Thursday's Times referred to the Watson Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired. That agency is now known as Lighthouse of Pinellas.

Clearwater man accused of growing marijuana in his home 07/21/11 [Last modified: Thursday, July 21, 2011 8:02pm]
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