RIVERVIEW — While responding to the report of a burglary in progress Sunday, Hillsborough County deputies stumbled into a marijuana grow house.
Deputies arrived to the 11125 Church Drive home at about 1:30 a.m. after someone called 911. The front door had been kicked open, but no one was inside.
What was inside, however, was a room devoted to growing marijuana — with more than 100 plants and about $35,000 worth of equipment, deputies said. They also seized a .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun.
Authorities from Tampa Electric responded and found the meter hooked up with a bypass, used to steal more than $20,000 in electricity, deputies said.
The homeowner, Elier Rogelio Perez, 35, was arrested later at a traffic stop. Perez was charged with armed trafficking of marijuana, cultivating and manufacturing marijuana, possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia and grand theft of electricity.