Deputies break up illegal grow operation

Seize 48 marijuana plants work $100,000

TAMPA, Fla. - Deputies in Hillsborough County arrested two people Wednesday after breaking up an illegal grow operation at a house on Leisure Ave.

Investigators say Yohiko Perez-Crump and Niurvys Sanchez-Hernandez were growing dozens of marijuana plants worth thousands of dollars.

Investigators say they could smell the marijuana from outside the house before serving the warrant.

One neighbor said it has changed his whole perspective on the area he calls home.

"Just anger. A lot of anger because it's really close to home," Jesse Otero said.

In fact, Otero said, it's right next door.

When deputies went inside, they found 48 marijuana plants worth an estimated $100,000.

"I was very concerned. Not only for the safety of my family but the neighborhood," Otero said

He says he had no idea the drug operation was going on next door, but he thinks it does explain the strange smell over the last few months.

"Every day when it was really, really hot and you feel like a nice little breeze. That's when you get that smell. It smells like a dead skunk," said Otero.

Captain Kyle Cockream said they found 27 mature plants almost ready to be sold and they were planning to grow more.

He tells ABC Action News that drug operations in small neighborhoods like this aren't uncommon.

"In some cases we'll do 10 to 12 of these a month and in other cases we'll go a month or two and we don't have any," said Cockream.

But Otero said once is enough and he is already considering moving his family out of the area.

"I'm just kind of concerned that this is not a safe neighborhood anymore for my family to be in. I don't want to raise my kids in this type of environment," Otero said.

Investigators also found that the suspects illegally tapped electricity to help power this operation. They stole an estimated $4,600 worth of electricity.

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