POINCIANA — In another reminder that tips from the public can help deal a blow to local crime, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office is crediting a local tip to detectives’ ability to shut down a grow house operating at a home near Kissimmee.
Agents had started investigating the suspected grow house on Trotters Circle, after getting information about illegal drug activity going on there.
Then last Thursday, Oct. 18, Osceola County Investigative Bureau agents served a search warrant at the home at 57 Trotters Circle in the Buenaventura Lakes community near Poinciana.
The tip, as it turned out, proved to be a useful one, said Twis Lizasuain, public information officer for the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office.
“Agents located a marijuana grow house in four separate rooms inside the residence, and took into evidence 57 plants that ranged from six inches to five feet tall,” Lizasuain noted in her report on the bust.
Following the drug raid, the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office released photos to the media showing the huge number of marijuana plants growing in the house.
The man living at the home was Denis Proenza, 31, who was arrested at the scene. Charges are pending against Loida Montalvo Quinones, 25, who also lived at the 57 Trotters Circle address. Detectives are now trying to locate her.
Both Proenza and Montalvo face charges that include cultivation of cannabis (marijuana), theft of utilities, grand theft, trafficking in cannabis over 25 pounds, and renting a structure with the intent to manufacture or cultivate a controlled substance.
It’s possible, Lizasuain said, that others were involved in this drug operation.
“The investigation is on-going at this time, which may lead to additional arrests,” she said.
A grow house is a often located in a suburban residential neighborhood, and used for the production of marijuana. Typically, these homes have extensive hydroponic equipment that provides water, food, and light to the plants.
The houses are made to look ordinary, and kept in good condition, in an effort to blend in with the neighborhood and avoid suspicion.
A common feature of a grow house is an illegal electrical hookups, which makes it harder for law enforcement to suspect criminal activity in the home due to high electrical usage.
The Osceola County Investigative Bureau is a multi-agency task force made up of Osceola County Sheriff’s deputies, officers from the Kissimmee and St. Cloud Police Departments, and Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents who investigate vice, narcotics and organized crime.
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