BROOKSVILLE — Three people were arrested and 149 pot plants were confiscated this week when authorities discovered two marijuana grow operations at a Brooksville home.
The raid on Thursday by the Hernando County Sheriff's Office Vice and Narcotics Unit at 15023 Fieldcrest Lane showed the house had been converted into four separate grow rooms with 98 plants inside. A large shed at the rear of the property was also converted into a grow room and contained 51 plants, according to a report.
The power lines to both buildings and the meter box were tampered with, making it possible for the electricity to be stolen, the report stated.
Grethel Pardillo Perez, 28; Yosvani Garcia Gonzalez, 35; and Carlos Amiero Pedroso, 27, were arrested on charges of cultivation of marijuana, possession of a residence for cultivation, and meter tampering.
Pedroso, who also was held on a charge of driving on an expired license, had a Department of Homeland Security employment authorization card authorizing him to work legally in the United States. He does not work for Homeland Security, authorities said.
"This operation could put almost $1 million of illegal drugs on the streets every year, as well as increasing the cost of electricity for Hernando County residents,'' said Sheriff Al Nienhuis.