In several raids on Wednesday, officials arrested 13 people and uncovered 5 separate grow houses in the Loxahatchee area. These growing operations were all in residential homes and some were operated in the presence of children.
Thirteen arrests related to the grow houses means thirteen players in the drug trade are now out of the loop. Although this article in the Sun Sentinel doesn’t specify, there is a good chance these plants were supplying the area with a good chunk of recreational marijuana use.
Altogether the busts netted over 200 pounds in marijuana and plants. This is all a part of “Operation Eagle Claw”, a task force operation to rid the state of hydroponic grow houses. The operation includes the cooperation of the U.S. Attorney’s office, local law enforcement, SWAT, and the South Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force.
In one house law enforcement found 9 people and 3 children. This particular raid not only ended in Florida felony drug charges but also child cruelty charges for the 2 adults arrested there. Growing operations like this involve far worse charges than a simple possession bust.
Growing marijuana is considered far more serious than smoking or possessing. If you plan on supplying or contributing to the supply of illegal drugs in the state, you will face harsher penalties as the criminal justice system seeks to stamp out the illegal drug trade.
The charges and potential penalties these people face will be based on the amount of marijuana found in their homes. Depending on how the drugs were found and the specific charges, they could be penalized by the weight of the marijuana or the number of plants involved.