Suspicious fire destroys marijuana grow house in Lehigh Acres
FOX 4 Staff
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
LEHIGH ACRES, Fla. - Fire destroyed a marijuana grow house early this morning in Lehigh Acres. The State Fire Marshall is investigating the cause of the fire at 4307 East 15th Avenue.
On Thursday June 27, 2013 a tip led Lee County deputies to the house resulting in two arrests.
Deputies arrived in the 4300 block of E. 15th Avenue when they spotted a man later identified as Jesus Mercado, 32, in the driveway. A deputy spotted an unlit rolled marijuana cigar in his hand. Mercado was asked to call out the homeowner and did.
27-year-old Eduardo Cruz came out and told the law officers they didn't look real. The deputies could see through the door and spotted marijuana on a counter-top along with a handgun. All around the house were signs that a grow house was in operation including a garden hose coming out of a inside wall and a separate air conditioning unit.
A search warrant led to the discovery of 75 marijuana plants and two bags of marijuana weighing 34 grams. A .22 caliber pistol was also taken.
Both Mercado and Cruz were charged with producing and trafficking in marijuana and possession with intent to sale. Both were also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.
The State Fire Marshall is investigating and calls the fire suspicious. Officials say the house is a total loss estimated at $50,000.