Bus driver charged with operating marijuana grow house
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
Cape Coral, Fla. - Anxious parents were freaked out to find out a man hired to drive your kids to school is now accused running a pot operation out of his home. Neighbors living in the quiet Cape Coral community say they were surprised to hear who was arrested but not what he was arrested for.
It'd be easy for me to say... "shocked!, the whole neighborhood's shocked!" But they're not. Not those we talked to. Not about the grow house part. However, they were shocked to find that the man arrested was a school bus driver for the Lee County School District.
"Doesn't surprise me," said Bob Duncan, who lives in the neighborhood. "Do you know your neighbor?" He then asked. Duncan lives in this neighborhood in Cape Coral where police say the home at 3416 NE 12th Avenue was a marijuana grow house.
Alexander Alvarez Cassanova has been charged with cultivating marijuana, among other things. Duncan says nowadays, with the economy like it is, it doesn't surprise him that someone is doing this to support their family.
"We're all struggling. I mean, it happens. It doesn't surprise me. Come on, it's everywhere. Why not here?"
Investigators say they got a tip, went up to the house Friday, immediately smelled marijuana, got a search warrant, went in, and came out with 92 marijuana plants. They also said Cassanova had been stealing electricity. All that didn't surprise the people we talked with, but the bus driver part did. When asked if he knew that Cassanova was a school bus driver Duncan replied, "No, that's interesting. That's very interesting. It's disappointing but at the same time it's not surprising."
"I was shocked. I can't imagine how they got a job," said Judy Sutton. "Do they not drug test, they should drug test all bus drivers."
After thinking about it more Duncan said, "School bus driver? What they go thorough everyday. Would you wanna be one? But, there again, they need to be held to a different standard."
Sutton added, "Disturbing? Yes, very much. Especially since I have a 12 year old."
Police haven't said how long it's gone on here, or don't know. Is it, perhaps, because no one really knows their neighbors nowadays? "In the old days you used to knock on the door and mom would have the Sara Lee cake and now we hide behind furniture when someone knocks on the door," added Duncan.
Two notes; The house was condemned by code enforcement, and the Lee County School District has fired Cassanova.