Marijuana grow house busted after teacher smells weed on student, Hialeah police say

11-year-old, 4-year-old brothers turned over to DCF


HIALEAH, Fla. – Hialeah police raided a marijuana grow house on Monday and arrested two people, authorities said.

The arrests came after the suspects' 11-year-old son told his teacher on the first day of school that marijuana plants were being grown inside his home after she smelled a strong odor of marijuana coming from him, authorities said.

The boy said he and his 4-year-old brother were playing a game inside their apartment in the 5800 block of West 25th Court when they went to another bedroom and saw the marijuana plants, authorities said.

Police obtained a search warrant in the afternoon and said they found that one of the two bedrooms inside the apartment was being operated as a marijuana hydroponics cultivation room.

According to an arrest report, the room had 10 marijuana plants that weighed about 31 pounds.

Police said there were also multiple small, clear, plastic bags commonly used in the sale of narcotics, four small bags of marijuana, two digital scales, three glass pipes used to smoke marijuana and two heat-seal vacuum machines used to package large quantities of marijuana.

Authorities said the hydroponics lab was located within 1,000 feet of Ben Shepard Elementary School.

Authorities were also concerned about the amount of food inside the home and the living conditions the boys endured.

Police said there was only a little amount of food inside the home, including one box of rice, one can of carrots and one can of beans inside the cupboard.

Authorities said the refrigerator had mold growing inside, along with a salad dressing bottle, a bottle of mayonnaise and a bottle of ketchup.

There was also a cooler containing cheese and empty bottles and another cooler containing lemon, ketchup, butter and jelly, the arrest report said.

Authorities said the boys and their parents, Rolando Naranjo, 41, and Betsy Espinoza, 32, shared one bedroom and slept in the same bed inside the apartment where they were squatting. 

Naranjo and Espinoza were arrested on charges of child neglect, manufacturing a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of cannabis within 1,000 feet of a school and possession of cannabis for the purpose of trafficking.

The suspects' sons are now in the custody of the Florida Department of Children and Families.

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