TAMPA — The marijuana grow operation was hidden behind a secret door, but its smell gave it away.
Tampa police officers on patrol Thursday stopped when they smelled a strong odor of marijuana coming from the house at 2813 Lake Ave. in West Tampa.
They say a man answered the door and offered to show police the operation.
Police seized 21 mature marijuana plants and a 100-gram bag of marijuana. They arrested the man, Rafael Becerra, 47, on charges of manufacturing cannabis, possessing cannabis and possessing drug paraphernalia.
Becerra also was charged with grand theft because he was bypassing utility services, police say.
This is Becerra's first arrest in Hillsborough County. His bail was set at $6,500.