St. Pete firefighters find marijuana growing operation

From the Tampa Bay Times, local firefighters respond to a fire. What they find led one man to felony charges…

In Saint Petersburg, local firefighters responded to calls of a house on fire. The man inside the house surprised the firemen by refusing to let them in. They soon found out why. The 27 year-old suspect had a marijuana cultivation operation in the house he rented from his father!

Firefighters first responded to the St. Petersburg house early Monday evening on reports of an electrical fire. The suspect had apparently started the small blaze by having too many electrical cords, overloading the circuits.

The firefighters became suspicious when the marijuana growhouse defendant refused to let them in to fight the fire. When they broke down the door, they found close to 100 potted marijuana plants in his room.

Police were soon called and the suspect was arrested and charged with multiple charges including cultivation, possession of marijuana, obstruction and possession of MDMA (this controlled substance appeared to be found on him when he was arrested).

Per the police report the suspect first claimed he was growing the drug for medicinal usage. He eventually admitted that he was growing the plants to sell the marijuana.


Cultivation or manufacturing of marijuana is found under Florida Statute 893.13. It is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison. The possession of a controlled substance (MDMA) is also a third-degree felony with the same punishment. The marijuana possession may also be a felony due to the sheer amount found (over 20 grams of marijuana takes it from a misdemeanor (possible one year in county jail) to the same third-degree felony. Finally, the obstruction charge is also a first-degree misdemeanor.

It is not just the possibility of prison time or a felony conviction that the defendant should be worried about. A conviction on a drug possession, sale or manufacture will mean an automatic driver’s license suspension! An ajudication of guilt will mean that his license is suspended for two years (six month hard suspension with a possibility of a hardship license if certain criteria is met)!

Have you or a loved one been arrested for a possession of marijuana or a sale of a controlled substance? Then call the St. Petersburg drug defense lawyers of Blake & Dorsten, P.A. today!

These former prosecutors have handled 1000s of drug cases and handle all criminal and personal injury cases throughout the Gulf Coast of Florida including St. Petersburg, Clearwater, Tampa Bay, Sarasota, Bradenton and the surrounding areas.

To speak directly with your Pinellas county criminal defense lawyer call them at (727)286-6141 or click on the contact button above. Blake & Dorsten, P.A…when your case matters!

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