Alleged home robbery leads to grow house bust
Five Southwest Florida residents were arrested and charged in relation to the trafficking and growth of marijuana after police responded Monday morning to a robbery call in northwest Cape Coral.
As a result of the investigation, police reportedly uncovered two marijuana grow houses in the Cape, including the home of the alleged robbery.
Police responded to a robbery with shots fired at 1613 N.W. 31st Place at about 4:28 a.m. and discovered the home was a marijuana cultivation site, according to city spokesperson Connie Barron.
The home is owned by Edwin and Sandra Perez of Miami, according to Lee County property records.
The Perezes did not immediately return phone calls from the Breeze Tuesday afternoon.
Gonzalo Paez, 38, of Cape Coral, and Yoel Lorenzo, 32, Adenys Boneyes, 36, and Palo Sabon, 38, all of Naples, were each charged with trafficking marijuana over 25 pounds and resisting without violence. The home’s occupant, Geovanny Manuel Rodriguez-Ortez, 31, was charged with trafficking marijuana over 25 pounds and cultivation of cannabis.
Before police arrived, Paez, Lorenzo, Boneyes and Sabon fled the scene in a minivan, which they later abandoned in a vacant field on Northwest 37th Place to elude officers in fields and nearby canals, according to reports.
Police reportedly discovered 30.3 pounds of marijuana and two bags of cocaine in the minivan, and later detained all four occupants. Aside from various pieces of cultivation equipment, police discovered 23.4 pounds of cannabis and root systems in the home Ortez was occupying.
A nearby neighbor, who requested not to be identified, said he was surprised to hear the home might have been used to grow marijuana.
“It’s a shame that this stuff is happening,” said the neighbor, an eight-year resident of the area. “This is a nice neighborhood. There’s been no other problems that I know of.”
The neighbor said the home had been rented to several different tenants over the past few years. He personally did not know the current residents, but said that they seemed to behave like a normal family.
“I don’t think anybody realized it was (allegedly) a grow house,” he said.
Ortez reportedly admitted to using a second Cape Coral home to grow marijuana, located at 2106 N.E. 23rd Place, where police said they discovered 63.9 pounds of the drug.
Despite reports of shots fired during the alleged robbery, none of the suspects were harmed during the incident, Barron said.
K-9, investigative services, patrol and forensics units with the Cape Coral Police Department, along with a Lee County Sheriff’s Office helicopter, were used to apprehend the suspects.
Paez and Lorenzo were released from the Lee County Jail on $31,000 bond, according to jail records. Ortez was released on $31,500 bond.
Records show Adenys and Sabon remained in custody Tuesday evening.