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Two Tampa men charged after 48 pounds of marijuana found in garage, deputies say

TAMPA — A two-month investigation led to the arrest of two Tampa men accused of growing marijuana in a garage, where deputies say they found 48 pounds of the illegal substance.

Undercover investigators had watched the garage at 11214 Shadybrook Drive, off Anderson Road near Carrollwood. They entered Saturday afternoon with a search warrant after smelling marijuana outside the home, according to arrest affidavits.

Inside, Hillsborough sheriff's deputies say they found several electrical ballasts in the back of a Mercedes-Benz. Tampa Electric Co. investigators at the scene confirmed they were the type of ballasts used in grow operations to support high volumes of electricity, the affidavits said.

Investigators said the house's electricity was set up to steal power but was not being used that way.

Deputies arrested Andersson Hernandez-Marquez, 34, who is listed as the owner of the house. He was renting the residence to another man whose name was on the electric bill, the affidavits said. The renter did not appear to be involved in the case.

Hernandez-Marquez faces three felony charges relating to manufacturing and trafficking cannabis.

Also arrested was Raul Hernandez-Marquez, 32, who is charged with two counts of manufacturing and trafficking the drug. Both men were being held without bail Sunday in Hillsborough County jail.