Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

St. Pete firefighters respond to electrical fire, find marijuana grow operation

ST. PETERSBURG – There was a fire in Gaetano Rodriguez's room, authorities said, but he wouldn't let firefighters in.

They broke down the door and soon learned why.

The emergency responders stumbled onto a marijuana grow operation, according to St. Petersburg police. Rodriguez, 27, was keeping between 75 and 100 potted marijuana plants inside a room near his attic, police said.

At first he told officers he was cultivating the plants for medicinal use. Then he admitted to growing the drug for sale, police said.

Rodriguez faces several charges including cultivation of marijuana and obstructing firefighters.

The crews responded to a call for an electrical fire in the home at 727 54th Ave. N about 6:30 p.m. Monday, police said. Rodriguez rents the house from his father.

The fire was very small, said Lt. Joel Granata, spokesman for St. Petersburg Fire and Rescue. Rodriguez had several extension cords running around the room, he said. The operation overloaded the cords, causing them to smolder.

Rodriguez was taken to the Pinellas County Jail and released on $7,300 bail.

St. Pete firefighters respond to electrical fire, find marijuana grow operation 07/30/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 30, 2013 6:19pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times 
Casimar Naiboa pleads for help to capture the killer of his son, Anthony Naiboa. Naiboa, 20, was shot and killed near 15th Street N. and E. Frierson Avenue after getting off the wrong bus in Seminole Heights. A peaceful march that began on east New Orleans Avenue was held during the candlelight vigil for the three victims who were killed in the recent shootings in the Seminole Heights neighborhood in Tampa on Sunday, October 22, 2017.
  2. PolitiFact Florida: Rubio has a point about the child tax credit

    State Roundup

    The Trump administration and Senate and House leaders have revealed a framework for tax legislation that proposes tax cuts for business, a reduction in tax brackets, and the elimination of several tax breaks.

    Senate Foreign Relations Committee member Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Miami, and other members of the committee arrive on Capitol Hill in August. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
  3. 'Empire' star Grace Byers keynotes USF Women in Leadership & Philanthropy luncheon

    Human Interest

    BY AMY SCHERZER

    TAMPA — The first University of South Florida graduate to address the USF's Women in Leadership & Philanthropy supporters, Grace Gealey Byers, class of 2006, centered her speech on her first name, turning it into a verb to share life lessons.

    Grace Byers, University of South Florida Class of 2006, stars on the Fox television show Empire. She delivered the keynote at the USF Women in Leadership and Philanthropy luncheon Friday. Photo by Amy Scherzer
  4. Southeast Seminole Heights holds candlelight vigil for victims' families and each other

    News

    TAMPA — They came together in solidarity in Southeast Seminole Heights, to sustain three families in their grief and to confront fear, at a candlelight vigil held Sunday night in the central Tampa neighborhood.

    A peaceful march that began on east New Orleans Avenue was held during the candlelight vigil for the three victims who were killed in the recent shootings in the Seminole Heights neighborhood in Tampa on Sunday, October 22, 2017.
  5. It's not just Puerto Rico: FEMA bogs down in Florida, Texas too

    HOUSTON — Outside Rachel Roberts' house, a skeleton sits on a chair next to the driveway, a skeleton child on its lap, an empty cup in its hand and a sign at its feet that reads "Waiting on FEMA."

    Ernestino Leon sits among the debris removed from his family’s flood-damaged Bonita Springs home on Oct. 11. He has waited five weeks for FEMA to provide $10,000 to repair the home.