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Drug raid yields 6 arrests, $3.2M in merchandise, cash

The arrests and seizures, announced Friday, started with a tip to crime watch in January about marijuana being grown in a house at 7660 Jomel Drive in Spring Hill.

By TIMES STAFF WRITER
Published March 3, 2007


Marijuana and ecstasy. Houses, cars and tricked-out sport utility vehicles and boats. Plasma TVs, a home theater system, a tractor and wads of cash.

All totaled, more than $3.2-million worth of stuff - all seized by the Hernando Sheriff's Office when they busted up a marijuana-growing operation.

Swept up in the net of "Operation Long Leaf" were six people in Masarkytown, Spring Hill, Hudson and Port Richey.

The arrests and seizures, announced Friday, started with a tip to crime watch in January about marijuana being grown in a house at 7660 Jomel Drive in Spring Hill.

Investigators worked quickly and by Feb. 22, they had served a search warrant at the Jomel Drive house and also at a home at 17040 Benes Roush Road in Masarkytown.

From the Spring Hill home, they seized 127 plants and 31 pounds of marijuana, along with $13,426.

In Masarkytown, they found 377 plants and some ecstasy pills, along with $253,900 in a safe and $25,875 around the house.

From the same place, deputies also seized a 2007 Infiniti, a 2006 Corvette, a Ford F350 truck, a GMC Yukon SUV, two boats, an airboat, two personal watercrafts and a tractor, among other things.

Investigators then followed the trail and served more warrants on Feb. 23, Feb. 24 and Wednesday, seizing drugs, cash and growing equipment.

Hernando sheriffs arrested Jeffrey Blandford, 47, and Ronda Lynn Dollard, 44, of 17040 Benes Roush Road, charging both with trafficking and conspiracy to traffic in marijuana.

Jeffrey Blandford Jr., 22, 12363 Brookside St., Spring Hill, was charged with conspiracy to traffic and Johnny Wallace, of 7660 Jomel Drive, was charged with cultivating marijuana.

Pasco County sheriffs arrested William Rudicil, 46, of 12501 Oak Tree Drive in Hudson, charging him with marijuana cultivation, possession with intent to sell and possession of paraphernalia.

Also arrested in Pasco was Carolyn Garr, 59, of 10005 Sleepy Hollow Lane. She was charged with possession of paraphernalia, a misdemeanor.