DELRAY BEACH, Fla. - A Delray Beach man told cops they had "saved" him from his "prison" after they arrested him for growing 248 marijuana plants in his house, police said.
Robert J. Fox, 50, was driving near his home at 15024 Jackson Road at about 1:45 p.m. on Monday when investigators with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office stopped him.
After the bust, Fox repeatedly told police they were rescuing him from his own personal prison, according to an arrest report written by a Palm Beach County Sheriff's investigator.
"Fox kept stating that he has been trapped in a prison here (referring to his home) and that I was saving him," the PBSO Narcotics Division agent wrote. "Fox went on to say that he made a big mistake."
After stopping him, the officers who had been doing surveillance on the house told Fox they had a warrant to search the place.
After escorting Fox inside, police found what they called "sophisticated cannabis grow rooms" containing 248 marijuana plants weighing about 229 pounds, a Ziplock bag stuffed with 262 grams of pot, another box with 15 grams of weed, and a two-gram ball of hash.
Sheriff's investigators said Fox didn't want to discuss the plants but admitted that the Ziplock bag, the 15 grams and the ball of hash were his personal stash.
The search revealed that only one room in the house appeared to be lived in, police said. Other parts of the home had been completely transformed into a growing operation.
In a bedroom, investigators found 59 plants growing in black plastic pots on the floor. They were surrounded by walls covered in reflective material and sitting under high-intensity lights. In a walk-in closet, cops found another 80 small marijuana plants under fluorescent lighting. They also found the Ziplock bag in another closet.
Cops then went to the two garage areas. In the north garage, they found 59 marijuana plants and in the south garage, another 50.
In the living room, police found a brown box on a table that contained two roach clips, a lighter and 15 grams of weed. When they looked in a drawer, they found the hash ball and a pack of Zig Zag rolling papers. Police also found a digital scale and ten boxes of FoodSaver vacuum-sealed bags in the kitchen.
The only bedroom that looked as if somebody was living there contained men's clothing and documents belonging to Fox.
Investigators also found that the electricity used to power the grow rooms was stolen and that the connection had been set up to bypass the home's power meter.
Fox is facing trafficking and possession charges. He was released Tuesday on a $25,000 bond.