Suspect in jail on $55,000 bond
By Chris Fish
BREVARD -- West Melbourne authorities uncovered an alleged marijuana growing operation in a storage unit Saturday, April 27, confiscating 34 plants, with an approximate weight of 44 pounds.
During the bust, authorities arrested Marco Arias, 52, of Melbourne and charged him with trafficking in cannabis, cultivation of cannabis and possession of drug paraphernalia.
In a release, Lt. Richard Cordeau of the West Melbourne Police Department said authorities were alerted by an anonymous tipster, who reported seeing suspected marijuana plants inside unit No. 72 at Ample Storage, 6963 W. Nasa Blvd., when the rear door to the unit was left open.
When officers arrived at the scene, Lt. Cordeau said the door to the unit was open and they noticed an "overpowering" smell of fresh marijuana.
"This case is yet another example of the collaborative efforts between our citizens and the West Melbourne Police Department," Lt. Cordeau said in an email. "In this case, a tip from a concerned citizen enabled us to take nearly 44 pounds of marijuana off the street. This type of activity is not tolerated and will be vigorously investigated, so as to preserve quality of life of our citizens. We encourage the public to report suspicious or unusual activity when they see something that doesn't look right."
In the release, Lt. Cordeau said officers found numerous plants, grow lamps and an irrigation system inside the unit.
Mr. Arias, the renter of the unit, was located at his residence by authorities. Upon his location, investigators said they discovered Mr. Arias was also the renter of a second unit at the facility.
A search warrant was obtained for the second unit, revealing a second grow operation inside.
Mr. Arias is being held at the Brevard County Jail on a $55,000 bond.