Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Public safety

Diversion of power leads Hernando deputies to home; marijuana arrests made

SPRING HILL — Hernando County sheriff's deputies say they found almost 500 pounds of marijuana and arrested two men after searching a Spring Hill home Tuesday.

After Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative officials suspected there was a power diversion at the home at 1021 Edgehill Ave., detectives from the vice and narcotics unit went to investigate, according to a news release.

When detectives knocked, no one answered. Deputies in the back of the residence noticed someone leave and throw a black garbage bag over the fence, according to the release. They also saw another person standing near a different trash bag. Both bags were later found to be filled with processed marijuana.

A deputy told both people to come talk to him, but they retreated inside the home, according to the release. They then ran out of the front of the house, where they were caught by a different deputy.

During a search of the residence, deputies found 64 pounds of processed marijuana and 437.5 pounds of marijuana plants, according to the release. Electric company officials confirmed that power was being diverted at the home because the usage and meter reading didn't match.

Deputies arrested Jorge Gutierrez-Echeverria, 25, and Elcides Alfonso-Porcegue, 47, on charges of marijuana cultivation, trafficking and possession, as well as theft of utilities. Both men were booked into the Hernando County Detention Center on Tuesday night, where they remained Wednesday in lieu of $34,000 bail each.

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