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3 face marijuana, power theft charges in Hernando

SPRING HILL — Hernando County sheriff's deputies arrested three people Thursday on marijuana cultivation and electricity theft charges discovered at two homes in Brooksville and Spring Hill.

Authorities discovered 37 marijuana plants growing inside the home of Michael Contino, 27, and Mailyn Ruiz, 32, who live at 1290 Gatewood Ave., Spring Hill. Detectives also discovered 60 plants growing inside the home of Luis Antonio Hernando, 35, who lives at 14058 Canada Goose Road in Brooksville.

Authorities said that a search of the houses yielded evidence that power had been diverted from electric meters to operate air-conditioning units, grow lights, fans and other items used to grow marijuana.

All three suspects face charges of marijuana cultivation, grand theft and tampering with an electric meter. The three were taken to the Hernando County Jail, where each was held on $10,500 bail Thursday.

Man, 53, accused of having sex with teen

SPRING HILL — A 53-year-old Spring Hill man, who is a registered sex offender, was charged Wednesday with having sex with a 17-year-old.

According to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office, Joseph Spera was seen leaving an abandoned house with the victim.

Investigators said that Spera admitted to having sex with the victim and that similar activity had taken place between the two multiple times over an extended period of time. Spera was being held in the Hernando County Jail without bail Thursday.

3 face marijuana, power theft charges in Hernando 05/15/08 [Last modified: Friday, May 16, 2008 5:50pm]

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