A woman who investigators say was entangled in a bizarre love triangle in connection with drugs and arson was arrested Thursday on marijuana cultivation and possession charges.
Shirley Lynn Ives, 36, turned herself in at the Pinellas County Jail about 10 a.m. Thursday.
Pinellas sheriff's detectives say Ives, along with her business partner Charles Gerardi ran a large and sophisticated marijuana operation out of a house in unincorporated Largo. Gerardi, 55, was arrested on similar charges March 9.
Narcotics detectives learned about the grow house at 10297 Hetrick Circle E on March 10 after Ives' ex-boyfriend, Allen C. Anderson Jr., broke into the house, stole more than 3 pounds of marijuana and tried to burn the house down, sheriff's detectives said.
Detectives say they arrested Anderson after he made a series of mistakes. He was charged with arson, burglary and marijuana possession.
Anderson, 52, is a financial planner and former president of the Greater Seminole Chamber of Commerce. His father was a Pinellas County judge for more than 20 years before his death in 1984.
Anderson has been released from the Pinellas County Jail on $150,000 bail. He could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Jail records indicate Ives still was being held there Thursday afternoon in lieu of $5,500 bail. Gerardi had been released on bail soon after his arrest. Both are represented by Clearwater attorney Bjorn Brunvand, who had no comment Thursday.
Detectives say Anderson suffered business and financial difficulties recently. Ives ended their relationship not long ago.
Detectives say Anderson broke into the Hetrick Circle home in the early morning hours of March 10. No one lived at the house, but it was packed with more than 150 marijuana plants, which were nourished by grow lights and an irrigation system.
"Most of them are sophisticated, but that one clearly was sophisticated," said Detective Cpl. Robert Mosley. "None of the neighbors, absolutely none of them . . . knew it was a grow operation."
Detectives believe Anderson took about $10,000 worth of drugs from the house, perhaps to sell for a profit. Before he left, he splashed a flammable liquid around the house and set it afire, probably to destroy any evidence that drugs were taken, detectives said.
Anderson allegedly made two 911 calls to report the fire. Though he attempted to disguise his voice in the calls, Ives later was able to identify the voice as his, detectives said.
The fire caused heavy damage in the house but flames did not spread. That's because the windows were sealed to keep the climate inside ripe for growing the plants. Without any oxygen getting in, the fire just smoldered.