By Jay Meisel
INDIAN RIVER COUNTY - In a wooded area near Vero Beach, Indian River County Sheriff's Office investigators found more than just trees and native plants.
They discovered 160 marijuana plants, ranging from 6 inches to 5-feet tall, an arrest affidavit said.
And at the suspected grower's residence, investigators found other drugs, an arrest affidavit said.
Christopher Ryan Malvita, 31, the suspected grower, of 2016 Seventh Court S.W., Vero Beach, was charged with trafficking cocaine, trafficking morphine, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of oxycodone without a prescription, cultivation of marijuana and possession of Ecstasy.
Besides marijuana plants, authorities found 99 grams of cocaine, 2 pounds of marijuana, 144 morphine pills, five oxycodone pills and four Ecstasy pills, Jeff Luther, public information officer, said in an email.
The investigation began after investigators received a tip that someone was growing marijuana in a wooded area near 20th Avenue and 17th Street S.W., the affidavit said.
Investigators, using a helicopter, spotted marijuana plants in the area, the affidavit said.
On the ground they found a trail leading to the plants and placed a camera in the area, the affidavit said.
The camera got video of Mr. Malvita in the area, the report said.
When deputies arrived at the residence, Mr. Malvita admitted owning the plants, the affidavit said.
A further search yielded the other drugs, the affidavit said.