Authorities arrested 10 people, including the owner of Global Homes, and uncovered 10 indoor marijuana farms during pre-dawn raids Tuesday morning, officials said.
They also said they confiscated $57,000 cash, 38 grams of cocaine, 4 guns, 9 cars and a boat.
Authorities said Global Homes had an interest in several of the homes raided Tuesday morning, although they would not elaborate on the home builder's involvement.
Officials said only that the arrangement bore similarities to previous busts in which immigrants were offered homes on the condition that they operate an indoor pot farm for some period of time. The investigation began in September and involved eight agencies - state, local and federal, officials said.
Port St. Lucie police seized 420 pounds of marijuana and 400 marijuana plants during an 18 home grow house raid in St. Lucie County Tuesday morning.
Investigators arrested 10 people in the raid, including the owner of Global Homes, a home building company that police said has connections to several houses in the case.
Detectives would not comment on what they believe the company's involvement was with the grow houses, but they did say that the case was similar to previous busts in which immigrants were offered homes as long as they operated an indoor marijuana farm for a period of time.
"We believe that there is a connection between Global Homes and Global Homes employees and these grow operations," said Deputy Chief Garry Wilson with the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office.
Wilson said police seized about $57,000, 38 grams of cocaine, nine cars, four guns and a boat during the raids. Police said the investigation began in September and involved 80 law enforement officers spanning eight different agencies including state, local and federal departments. Authorities said that the case is still under investigation and that the charges being considered are much more than just drug charges.
"Besides mortgage fraud, we're looking at potential child pornography charges and a number of other issues," said Chief John Skinner with the Port St. Lucie Police Department.
Ooops, I would say between Global Homes drug bust, kiddie porn and mortgage fraud they might be in just a wee-tiny bit of trouble!!