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Deputies identify dead man found at grow house near Plant City

PLANT CITY — Deputies don't know what triggered a shooting at a marijuana grow house Saturday, but they think they know the victims' names.

It has been a frustrating case, they say. One man is dead, and his friend isn't cooperating, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

It happened Saturday, at about 5:30 p.m. A neighbor noticed Jose Luis Panameño Chavarria, 49, at the edge of his dirt driveway with a bloody wound to the leg. When deputies arrived, Panameño wouldn't cooperate.

He only said his friend was at the house, dead.

The body of the man deputies believe is Moises Alfaro Ramos, 27, was found on the back porch of the home at 3220 Bruton Road near Plant City, where he lives.

Investigators did not say how Alfaro died, other than it appeared to be a homicide.

Paramedics took Panameño to Tampa General Hospital, and early Sunday, they charged him with felony marijuana trafficking because of the large grow operation at the house.

Though they booked him under that name — Jose Luis Panameño Chavarria — deputies were trying to determine Monday whether that was indeed the wounded man's name. According to jail records, he had shown deputies a Honduras identification card with that name. But when questioned, he gave deputies other names.

When it came to information about Saturday's violence, deputies said, he remained uncooperative.

Panameño has since been transferred from Tampa General Hospital to the Falkenburg Road Jail.

The house on Bruton Road is a half-mile off the road in a rural area north of Plant City. It's a one-story, four-bedroom, three-bathroom house built in 2005, property records show.

State records do not show a previous arrest in Florida for Panameño.

Times staff writer Jodie Tillman and news researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report. Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at or (813) 226-3433.

Deputies identify dead man found at grow house near Plant City 09/10/12 [Last modified: Monday, September 10, 2012 11:16pm]
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