Giles County drug agents working with the TBI and the 22nd Judicial Drug Task Force uncovered a sophisticated marijuana grow house that was just days away from going on line.
The operation was so clandestine, the growers were stealing electricity from the power grid.
Investigators said a crime syndicate out of south Florida is behind it all.
Giles County agents discovered the operation on April 28. It was inside a 2200 square foot home at the top of a secluded driveway.
“They were building a grow. A rent to own home. Setting up shop. It was going to be a major grow,” said Giles County sheriff Kyle Helton.
When drug agents entered the property, they found thousands of dollars’ worth of tools, professional grade electric meters, industrial exhaust fans, and marijuana grow equipment.
“It’s coming from Florida, the Miami area. They have their own crews,” said Helton.
According to investigators, Cuban nationals out of south Florida leased the home to set up the operation.
Officers said the men who came to establish the ground work for the operation were highly skilled; able to re-wire the electrical circuits in the house.
To help avoid detection, the men tapped into the local electric system using a transformer stolen from Florida to power the entire operation off the grid.
“The transformer was big enough to power electricity to about 10 homes, it wouldn’t have even been detected, ” said the sheriff.
Not only did the men steal electricity to stay under the radar, they dug a water well on site to feed their crops.
Helton said they paid in cash and did everything they could to stay under the radar.
The sheriff also said this is at least the third time operations like this have been discovered. The last one produced 4,000 plants.
So why do they keep coming to Giles County?
“I would think they feel they are under the radar and not be detected by law enforcement,” said sheriff Helton.
Investigators said the investigation is quite active.