110 W. New York Ave.
DeLand, FL 32720
The day the lights went out in Deltona
By Pat Andrews
posted Mar 20, 2014 - 11:00:44am
The lights went out in Deltona around noon March 16, and, as a result, a spotlight was shined on an illegal marijuana-growing operation, the Volusia County Sheriff's Office reported.
A transformer fuse blew on a utility pole, blacking-out a couple of houses. Power-company technicians replaced the fuse.
"Then, the replacement fuse blew moments after installation. This led to a small fire in a home’s meter box and the discovery of extra wires that were illegally siphoning more electricity than a typical house needs," Sheriff's Office spokesman Brandon Haught said.
The technicians found illegal wires connected to the supply line, and notified the Sheriff's Office.
Arriving at the scene, deputies learned the structure wasn’t a family home, but a marijuana grow house with dozens of plants and their power-hungry specialty lights and air-conditioning units, Haught said.
The Sheriff’s Office said deputies found a multi-room setup of potted marijuana plants and associated equipment required to help them grow inside. There were 51 5-foot-tall plants and an additional 17 plants about a foot tall.
The suspect tried to dispose of the the smaller plants by throwing them over the backyard fence, Haught said.
Deputies arrested the home’s occupant, 43-year-old Ramon Munoz-Rodriguez, and charged him with several narcotics violations: possession of narcotics paraphernalia, possession of more than 20 grams of marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and manufacture of marijuana.
He booked into the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach under a total bond of $9,000. Jail records March 20 showed he has bonded out.
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