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Children removed from suspected grow house

Hernando Today
Published:   |   Updated: May 7, 2013 at 06:24 PM
SPRING HILL -

Three children were removed from a house Thursday after child care representatives responded to an anonymous tip and saw marijuana in plain view inside a house, deputies said.

The Florida Department of Children and Families was called that afternoon to 10427 Tilburg St. and were accompanied by a deputy with the Hernando County Sheriff's Office, according to a media release.

The tipster told DCF that marijuana plants were being grown inside a home where children lived, authorities said.

When DCF and the deputy went inside the house, they saw the remains of marijuana cigarettes and drug paraphernalia and could detect an odor of "fresh marijuana," according to the sheriff's office.

Christopher Morales, 34, was charged with numerous marijuana-related charges in addition to child neglect and possession of codeine. His wife, Lumary, was charged with possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, cultivation of marijuana and child neglect.

Christopher and Lumary Morales were held at the Hernando County Jail in lieu of $51,000 and $10,000 bail, respectively.

After DCF saw the drugs, the sheriff's office's vice unit was called to respond, deputies said.

A search warrant was signed and deputies returned to the house and discovered 33 marijuana plants in the master bedroom along with 19 root balls of "already-harvested plants," according to the sheriff's office.

Nearly 800 grams of processed marijuana were found in the master bedroom and bathroom and some of it was on a drying rack in the shower, deputies said.

The codeine tablets were found in the same bathroom.

Additionally, a 9mm handgun was discovered under the mattress of the bed in the master bedroom and at least one of the three children was staying in that room, deputies said.

The couple was arrested one day after vice deputies arrested a 41-year-old Spring Hill man on allegations of operating a grow house.

Yosvani Medero-Burgo had 49 marijuana plants in a man-made structure in his backyard off Dorado Street that was wired to steal electricity from the meter, deputies said.

Medero-Burgo remains behind bars in lieu of $37,000 bail.


wholt@hernandotoday.com (352) 544-5283
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