Three-county pot bust leads to seven arrests

Published May 21, 2007

TAMPA - A federal raid at eight residences in Hillsborough, Pasco and Hernando counties Thursday yielded seven arrests and nearly 1,000 marijuana plants.

According to a criminal complaint filed in federal court Friday, authorities launched an investigation last year because they suspected the homes were used as indoor marijuana farms.

Drug Enforcement Administration agents, working with local police, executed eight search warrants Thursday.

At 3100 Saturn Road in Brooksville, agents found 62 marijuana plants and a room equipped with two new air conditioning units.

A search of 12019 Beagle Road in Hudson yielded "large amounts of cash and several weapons," according to the complaint. Officers also found a new air conditioning unit at the house.

It is typical to find extra air conditioning units in marijuana grow houses because the lights used to grow the plants are so hot.

Other houses searched include 26134 Ash St. and 23070 Skyview Circle in Hernando County; 8021 Irene St. in Zephyrhills; 14047 Happy Hill Road in Dade City; and 13224 Curley Road in San Antonio.

In addition, the Sumter County Sheriff's Office executed two state search warrants in connection with the investigation.

Those arrested include Ubaldo Delgado, Leonel Sanchez, Roger Rodriguez, Elias Cruz, Dante Poggini, Carlos Diaz Jr. and Carlos Miguel Diaz-Acosta.

Carrie Weimar can be reached at 813 226-3416 or cweimar@sptimes.com.