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Spring Hill couple charged with operating grow house, child neglect

SPRING HILL — A Spring Hill couple faces child neglect and drug charges after investigators discovered 33 marijuana plants in a home they shared with three children, authorities say.

Deputies and investigators with the Florida Department of Children and Families visited a home at 10427 Tilburg St. on Thursday after receiving an anonymous tip that marijuana was being grown in a house where children were present, according to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.

In the master bedroom, authorities found the marijuana plants and 19 root balls of harvested plants. Investigators also collected 797 grams, about 1.75 pounds, of processed marijuana in the master bedroom and bathroom.

Detectives discovered about 10 grams of codeine tablets in an unlabeled prescription bottle in the master bedroom and a 9-mm Glock semiautomatic pistol under the mattress. The unloaded gun was in an unlocked case with three full magazines, investigators said.

As least one of the three children — whose ages are 1, 7 and 11 — was staying in the master bedroom, the Sheriff's Office said.

Christopher and Lumary Morales, both 34, were charged with possession of marijuana with intent to sell and child neglect.

Christopher Morales also faces charges of marijuana cultivation, possession of a structure for manufacturing a controlled substance with a minor present, possession of a controlled substance without a prescription and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Both remained in the Hernando County Detention Center on Friday. Bail was set at $10,000 for Lumary Morales and $51,000 for Christopher Morales.

Reach Tony Marrero at tmarrero@tampabay.com or (352) 848-1431.

Spring Hill couple charged with operating grow house, child neglect 10/05/12 [Last modified: Friday, October 5, 2012 6:45pm]
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