2 arrested in Broward County marijuana grow house busts

About $500,000 worth of marijuana seized, authorities say

By Terrell Forney - Reporter, Sanela Sabovic - Reporter, Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - Two people were arrested and about $500,000 worth of marijuana was seized Thursday during drug busts at two homes in Broward County, authorities said.

Fort Lauderdale police's SWAT team assisted the Broward Sheriff's Office Thursday morning while deputies were executing a search warrant at the first grow house, authorities said.

Authorities said a substance, later determined to be carbon dioxide, began to leak after authorities entered the home at 1442 NE 56th Court.

Fort Lauderdale police said hazmat and bomb squad officials were called out as a precaution.

Sky 10 was above the scene around 10 a.m. as hazmat personnel scrubbed down authorities who possibly came into contact with the substance. 

One person was arrested at that home, identified as Eric Luben. Authorities said the home was being rented. 

"I found it surprising because Coral Ridge Isles is an extremely stable subdivision," Charles Weaver, who lives in the area, said. "Most of the residents there have lived there for, you know, many, many, many years, and they're older people." 

"It's pretty incredible. I mean, I've never seen something like this in this neighborhood," Alex Jean, who also lives nearby, said.  

Authorities said hundred of marijuana plants and drug paraphernalia were seized from the home. 

Another drug bust was carried out at a home in the 4400 block of NE 17th Terrace in Oakland, deputies said.

In total, about $500,000 worth of marijuana was seized from the grow houses, according to authorities. 

Brian Del Sandro, 33, was identified as the suspect arrested at the Oakland Park home. He faces numerous charges, including owning or renting a structure known for manufacturing drugs, trafficking cannabis, possession of alprazolam, manufacturing/producing cannabis, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance without a prescription.

Brian Del Sandro


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