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.