Hialeah Gardens police officers uncover marijuana growing operation

Police officers handcuffed homeowner, and packed leaves in garbage bags

HIALEAH GARDENS, Fla. - Hialeah Gardens police discovered a marijuana grow house near Westland Gardens Park Thursday that detectives said was stealing electricity.

To avoid raising suspicion due to the high-powered lights used to grow marijuana indoors, electricians are usually hired to bypass the electric meter and tap directly into the grid.

Hialeah Gardens Lt. Carlos Fojo said officers seized 18 large marijuana plants and were taking apart a hydroponic lab that was running out of the house's garage. The marijuana police confiscated was valued at $100,000.

In South Florida a pound of marijuana goes upwards of $4,000. And there is a high demand for marijuana grown in hydroponic labs, which produce plants with a higher level of THC, the agent that produces hallucinations.

Fojo said police officers arrested Sandy Morales Castro, 33. Records show Morales owned the three bedroom home at 10435 NW 132 St. in Hialeah Gardens.

Records also show that Morales used to own Sanlugui Transport in Hialeah Gardens and Sand Enterprises Transportation in Southwest Miami-Dade.

Local 10 News reporter Andrew Perez was at the scene and took a picture of Morales, while he was handcuffed and moved to the back seat of a police car.

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