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Citrus County, Florida -- Deputies with the Citrus County Sheriff's Office responding to a report of power theft at a home in Homosassa found much more than stolen electricity.

The investigation revealed the electricity was being intercepted between the transformer and the meter which documents the power usage. The stolen electricity is often used to power illegal cannabis grow operations due to the large amount needed to supply air conditioners, 1000 watt light bulbs, and other electrical equipment required to grow cannabis.

Inside the residence, deputies located 33 cannabis plants and several specialized items of paraphernalia used to grow cannabis. The resident, Juan Gomez was arrested on various charges related to the incident.

Due to the large number of suspected cannabis grow operations, Withlacoochee Electric has instituted a reward system for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those found to be diverting power for the purpose of cultivating cannabis.

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