GOLDEN GATE ESTATES, Fla. - A Collier County was arrested after detectives made a marijuana grow house bust in Golden Gate Estates. Nelson Suarez, 47, faces drug trafficking charges.
Detectives with the Vice and Narcotics Bureau of the Collier County Sheriff's Office say the operation was in a metal garage behind Suarez's home on 27th Avenue Northeast, near the intersection of Randall and Everglades Boulevards. Investigators seized 15 fully-grown marijuana plants with an estimated value of about $45,000.
Photos taken of the grow house reveal an elaborate operation, powered by 10 high-power transformers for high-intensity light bulbs, extra air-conditioning, and an irrigation system. Florida Power & Light was called out to disconnect electrical power from the building.
"When you live out here, you don't have an association," said neighbor Nancy Martin, who doesn't know Suarez. "I think a lot of people think anything goes out here."
According to Suarez's arrest report, investigators found about $10,000 worth of high-grade fertilizer for the marijuana plants, which weighed about 60 pounds without the roots.
Thursday, Suarez delayed his first court appearance until he could have a private attorney present.