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Pasco deputies find 117 marijuana plants in Shady Hills house

Wednesday’s search of 15742 Peace Blvd. yielded 117 marijuana plants, 14 pounds of the drug and more than $2,000 in cash.

Courtesy of the Pasco Sheriff\u2019s Office

Wednesday’s search of 15742 Peace Blvd. yielded 117 marijuana plants, 14 pounds of the drug and more than $2,000 in cash.

SHADY HILLS — A tipster smelled something "skunky" and called the Sheriff's Office.

The odor got stronger every time the door was opened at 15742 Peace Blvd., according to a report.

Electric company officials also said power was being diverted off the home's meter.

The information led investigators from a joint task force of Pasco and Pinellas narcotics deputies to the home Tuesday. They served a search warrant and, according to reports, found all the trappings of a grow house: 117 marijuana plants, 14 pounds of marijuana and more than $2,000 in cash.

The estimated street value of the plants was $100,000, Pasco sheriff's spokesman Kevin Doll said.

Plumbing from the bathroom was being used to irrigate the plants, which stood 4 to 5 feet tall.

Authorities arrested Luis Gonzalez-Lopez, 31, who told deputies he had been living in a shanty behind the house. He had keys to the residence, the report said.

He is charged with cultivation of marijuana. He was being held Wednesday at the Pasco County jail in Land O'Lakes in lieu of $5,000 bail.

Molly Moorhead can be reached at moorhead@sptimes.com or (727) 869-6245.

>>Fast facts

A growing problem

Detectives are finding more large-scale, sophisticated grow houses in Pasco County. The raids this year:

Jan. 30: Pasco detectives seize 182 marijuana plants worth about $200,000 from an elaborate indoor operation on Canton Drive in Hudson.

Feb. 12: About 225 marijuana plants, each with a street value around $1,000, are taken from a home on Coats Street in Shady Hills.

Feb. 26: A raid of an Ehren Cutoff home in Land O'Lakes nets more than 70 marijuana plants, which the owner claimed were for her personal use.

March 10: Deputies find 79 marijuana plants growing in the garage of a Westpoint Drive home in Wesley Chapel.

March 31: Alerted by the electric company, authorities search a house on Gracie Lee Street in Shady Hills and find 113 plants and 25 pounds of processed marijuana.

Pasco deputies find 117 marijuana plants in Shady Hills house 04/30/08 [Last modified: Friday, May 2, 2008 1:58pm]
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