A couple and their adult son are facing charges after being caught operating a million-dollar marijuana growing operation, the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said.
On Wednesday, warrants were served at four sites -- 8912 Westbay Blvd., 5914 Birchwood Drive, 13716 Old Farm Drive, and 8222 Drycreek Drive. Three of the locations were solely used for growing pot, deputies said.
Detectives arrested Maritza Rodon, 60, Ramon Fernandez-Fernandez, 66, and Ariel Fernandez, 41, all of Tampa. They are charged with trafficking in marijuana, cultivation of marijuana, grand theft electricity, rent/own/lease for purposes of trafficking and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Detectives recovered a Hi-Point 9mm semi-auto and 370 marijuana plants which had a total weight of 539 pounds. The marijuana had a street value of $1,079,280.00.They also located an illegal electric connection providing unmetered electricity at all three residences which had a combined total electricity theft of $21,402.70.