LABELLE, FL. (July 2, 2004) -- Acting on an anonymous tip regarding a
marijuana growing operation, Hendry County Sheriffs narcotic Investigators
responded to 4056 S. Edgewater Circle in the Port LaBelle community.
While there Investigators located and seized an indoor marijuana growing
operation yielding 48 mature marijuana plants approximately 4' in height
with an approximate street value of $120,000.00. The plants were fully
budded and ready for cultivation. The sole occupant of the residence was
identified as 40-year-old Roberto Gutterrez.
Once inside the residence investigators found a portion of the living
quarters had been altered to accommodate the operation. A 15'x20' addition
had been built onto the rear of the garage and contained an elaborate
indoor marijuana grow operation. The grow area was fully equipped with a
sophisticated hydroponic grow system consisting of electricity and water;
the floors and ceilings were fully covered with insulation board. The room
contained a number of high wattage lights, a separate air conditioning
system, and numerous transistors, breaker boxes and electrical plugs
necessary for this type of operation.
Roberto Gutterrez was arrested and charged with cultivation of marijuana,
possession of marijuana with intent to sell, and possession of drug
paraphernalia. Gutterrez is currently being held in the Hendry County Jail
on a $5,000.00 bond.
In the past three and half years narcotics investigators with the Hendry
County Sheriffs office have uncovered six grow house operations in Hendry
County seizing an estimated $1,500,00 in illegal drugs, during Sheriff
Sheriff Worley stated, "The continued support and cooperation of the
community has contributed to the overall success of our goal in addressing
the problem of drugs in our County. It was my goal while running for
office and continues to be my goal and that of the Hendry County Sheriffs
Office to confront the problem of drugs and the affect that it has on the
residents of our county. We deeply appreciate the public's support".