Monday, March 10, 2008

A Familiar Story To Hendry County Residents

Residential Marijuana Grow Houses Now Big Business

LABELLE, FL. --  Attorney General Bill McCollum and Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric L. Bradshaw today announced that charges have been filed against 29 Miami-Dade County individuals for conspiring to traffic cannabis and their involvement in a criminal enterprise. The individuals were involved in a drug trafficking ring which operated and maintained 25 marijuana grow houses throughout Palm Beach County and one in Miami-Dade County.

"Marijuana is not just a gateway drug anymore. It is highly potent and increasingly addictive, and these marijuana grow houses are the basis for dangerous criminal activity," said Attorney General McCollum. "The rings who supervise multiple houses and cultivate marijuana for profit are criminal enterprises, and we will target them as such."

Authorities determined that ringleader Miguel Fernandez masterminded the purchase and conversions of at least 26 houses to use as marijuana grow houses. He used straw buyers to make the actual purchase, then recruited others, often recent immigrants, to act as caretakers for the cannabis plants. When the plants were ready for harvest, Fernandez and his lieutenants would package the cannabis and transport it to Miami-Dade County, where he would sell it for eventual delivery to New York. The year-long investigation resulted in the seizure of over $7 million worth
 of cannabis, an AK-47 assault rifle, a MAC-10 submachine gun, a pump-action shotgun and numerous handguns, including one with the serial number filed off that was found buried in the backyard of Fernandez's Miami residence.

Fernandez was taken into custody in late February by narcotics agents with the Palm Beach County SheriffSs Office and Florida Highway Patrol troopers. Fernandez was arrested as he was leaving one of his Palm Beach County grow houses. The investigation was conducted by narcotics agents with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office with assistance from the Attorney General's Office of Statewide Prosecution, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the Miami-Dade County Police Department and Palm Beach County State Attorney Barry Krischer's Office with cooperation
and funding provided by the South Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program.

Miguel Fernandez faces life in prison if convicted of the charges against him. Arrest warrants have been issued for Fernandez's three drug lieutenants and 25 additional criminal associates who will remain unidentified at this time. Each individual is facing up to 30 years in prison with a three-year minimum mandatory sentence.


  1. Anonymous5:00 PM

    Another one bites the dust!

  2. Anonymous7:56 PM

    Does anybody else find it funny that this gets busted by other counties in cooperation with Federal agencies, but Hendry County does not ask the Feds for help when it is well known who is doing it and where this stuff is going on? Is it not strange that after the largest EVER marijuana growhouse bust in the state a few years back (in Montura) no one asked for continued help from the Feds and no one busted the multitude of obvious growhouses in Montura. Who is on the payroll, and who pays to protect the dirtbags?

  3. Anonymous10:48 PM

    Great Job! But I have to ask their illegals arent they?

  4. Anonymous9:03 AM

    No one is on the payroll!.
    They are just dumb as dirt.

  5. Anonymous11:19 AM

    For being dumb as dirt they have quite advanced organizational and coordination skills. But you are right.

  6. Anonymous9:49 PM

    no their not dumb as dirt can you go years without work and own a big house 4 or five vehicals and organize this type of operation I think we all need to wise up

  7. Anonymous4:51 PM

    Marijuana, cocaine, cockfighting Santeria- one big happy bunch in montura.
    Before you say its just "those cubans" (and we all know who sponsers them by name)-The anglos have the sub-market on Meth. and other substances and organized dirtbag crime in general.

    Regardless they are all dirtbags that go unchecked while everyone says there is no money for fighting crime in montura.
    Montura is a undesignated HIDTA-High intensity drug trafficking area sponsored by organized crime instead of the feds with no police watching to protect the sponsor's intrests.

  8. Anonymous9:12 PM


    Tell me some war stories about the Marines, or the Gulf War.

    You must be 'high speed - low drag'

    Dropping all those impressive acronyms and posturing from such a high position of knowledge.

    Try to work outside of Hendry, HA!


  9. Anonymous7:55 PM

    It's easy to speak from a high position when the listener is an ignoramus. -And by the way I do not work in Hendry County.