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Marijuana grow operation stealing power under investigation

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Posted at 10:01 AM, Nov 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-23 11:18:02-05

A marijuana grow operation was uncovered and found to be stealing power on Monday, launching an investigation. 

Members of Vice and Narcotic Squad 2(V&N) were called to assist Withlacoochee River Electric Company (WREC) in reference to a residence suspected of diverting/stealing power.

WREC employees checked their equipment for tampering, and found a diversion buried where the electric line comes into the residence.  

While on scene, the V&N team smelled marijuana plants, and obtained a state search warrant.

Inside, Squad 2 found 51 marijuana plants weighing 90 lbs. with an estimated street value of $450,000 growing in two rooms of the residence, along with paraphernalia used for growing and distribution. A forensics unit was on scene for assessment and processing.

A WREC official estimates the total loss in revenue as a result of the illegal marijuana grow operation to be over $40,000, most of that in unpaid electricity usage.

No one was inside the residence at the time of the investigation, and officials are working on developing a suspect.