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PBSO says man ran 'sophisticated' marijuana grow house near Wellington High School

Posted: 12:28 PM, May 24, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-24 18:07:41-04
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WELLINGTON, Fla. — A Wellington man has been charged with cultivating more than 150 cannabis plants in a home he leased on Wisteria Street, less than a mile from Wellington High School.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office served a search warrant on the home on Wednesday. Once inside, deputies said they found a total of 151 cannabis plants and a "sophisticated" grow house operation.

The resident, Danilo Almaguer Sanchez, 42, told an agent in Spanish that he was responsible for the grow house and built it himself.

Surveillance video obtained by WPTV shows a crime scene investigation van outside Sanchez's home earlier this week.

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A search of the home yielded the following:

  • The front room was insulated and held 17 plants that were 6 feet tall and 5 feet wide, which showed bud development. The room had 12 1,000-watt bulbs to provide artificial sunlight.
  • The garage contained 21 plants of similar size and productivity, with another ten 1,000-watt high pressure sodium bulbs affixed to the ceiling.
  • A bedroom held 10 mature plants and five 1,000-watt bulbs. Another bedroom held 103 juvenile cannabis plants growing in plastic pots and cups.
  • A PBSO report said that improvised high voltage wiring and high voltage power diversion were installed in the home.
  • In total, 151 cannabis plants weighing 174.8 pounds were recovered from the home, investigators said.

The home also had four five-ton air conditioning units and two portable air conditioners to cool the grow rooms.

In the last remaining bedroom, which was the only functioning bedroom, was an FPL bill addressed to Sanchez, showing a fee of $88, "thus further demonstrating that a high voltage electrical service diversion was installed to avoid paying for the true electrical consumption," according to his arrest report.

Sanchez has been in the United States for 12 years and a deputy found a Resident Alien card in his bedroom.

Sanchez is facing charges of manufacturing cannabis, trafficking in cannabis, and possession of a dwelling to manufacture a controlled substance. Court records show he's being held on $23,000 bond.