Indoor Marijuana Operation Busted in Lutz

On May 14, 2015, operating on a tip about a possible marijuana grow operation, detectives from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) headed over to the 1000 block of Crenshaw Lake Road in Lutz. After they met the homeowner, A. Lavandera, he gave the detectives consent to enter the premises.

While the detectives were speaking to Lavandera, they gained probable cause to obtain a court authorized search warrant. From there, detectives, along with District 1 patrol deputies executed the search warrant and began searching the premises for any possible drug activity.

As they searched the home, they found two rooms that were completely converted for the purpose of cultivating marijuana. The detectives also discovered 51 mature marijuana plants, which totaled 284 pounds.

Beyond the drugs, Tampa Electric (TECO) responded to the scene and found an illegal electricity connection that was providing unmetered electric to the home. The total estimate of electrical theft amounted to $7, 715, reported the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

Lavandera was arrested and charged with:

The HCSO reports that the marijuana’s street value was approximately $568,000. This marked the 13th indoor marijuana grow operation investigated by the HCSO in 2015 alone.

Under Sec. 893.135 of the Florida Statutes, anyone who knowingly manufactures or is in actual possession of in excess of 25 pounds of cannabis, is guilty of a felony of the first degree. This is known as “trafficking in cannabis,” and is punishable by up to 30 years in prison, and up to a $10,000 fine.

Facing drug charges in Tampa?

These are just a sampling of the penalties faced by Lavandera if he is found guilty of his charges. Are you in a similar situation and looking for a Tampa drug attorney? If so, we urge you to reach out to Thomas & Paulk for help.

As former prosecutors with over 7,000 cases to our credit, we are in an excellent position to provide you with a hard-hitting defense. Call now for a free criminal defense consultation!