Friday, July 11, 2008

Welcome to the Neighborhood

When I moved from Coral Gables to Palmetto Bay last month, I was impressed by how nice and quiet it was and how well landscaped the streets and lawns were. Well, now I know why it’s so quiet, and apparently, it’s a great place to grow things.

Whoever decorated the five-bedroom Palmetto Bay home had a creative approach: a lone sofa and several hundred marijuana plants.

Miami-Dade police confiscated the drugs — worth about $800,000 — before 8 a.m. Thursday, after being tipped off that the home at 15555 Old Cutler Rd. was a marijuana grow house.

They did not have a warrant, but an unidentified man, 25 to 35 years old, answered the door and let police in.

Inside, investigators found more than 500 marijuana plants in all rooms of the house.

Officers arrested the man, who was alone and said he rented the 4,519-square-foot house. Police plan to file drug-related charges against him after narcotics detectives complete their investigation.

”It is not your ordinary hydroponics operation,” said Detective Alvaro Zabaleta, a Miami-Dade police spokesman. ”This was well organized, well structured.”

The plants were grouped by size and age; light and temperature varied from room to room, police said.

The police also found one room containing over 200 boxes of Hot Fudge Sundae Pop Tarts.

(Okay, I made that last part up.)