Drug Bunker Found During Fire In Pioneer Plantation
LABELLE, FL. -- Hendry County Sheriffs deputies were alerted to a possible underground bunker type grow house on Wednesday, February 18, at approximately 7:00 p.m. While firefighters were attempting to put out the fires in the area of 2412 Christopher Lane in rural Pioneer Plantation in central Hendry county, they noticed a concrete stucco sided structure.
When firefighters entered the structure they noticed a small cut-out trapdoor style door on the floor. When the firefighters looked inside the trap door they observed multiple freshly cut bushels of a green herbal substance they believed to be marijuana plants hanging from the ceiling.
Sheriff Steve Whidden, who was already on scene observing the progress of the fire fighting, was immediately notified and responded to 2412 Christopher Lane. When investigators arrived they were able to obtain a search warrant and entered the premises.
The search of the underground grow structure revealed approximately 4.2 pounds of freshly cut marijuana stocks hanging in the concealed room under the floor of the building. This marijuana had been brought in to dry and it was not believed to be grown there.
The 20-acre property at that address is listed as owned by Tatiana Pena of 20120 NW 66th Place, in Miami and on property records is shown as vacant land.
The marijuana was collected and placed in evidence; also collected were various small tools, a generator that was facilitating the electrical equipment and a portable AC unit.
The grow house was equipped with thirteen electrical transformers, multiple breakers and timers, 15 light fixtures and 17 large grow lights. It was obvious to investigators that the bunker was still being constructed.
The bunker style grow house is not common in South Florida, and there have been three reported bunker style grow houses in central and northern Florida. This is the first known marijuana grow house in South Florida.