135 arrested in grow house raids


A law enforcement officer counts marijuana plants inside a grow house during a raid Wednesday, April 30, 2008 in an unincorporated area of Miami-Dade County, Fla. The raid was part of a coordinated local and federal law enforcement crackdown on indoor marijuana grow houses, which are increasingly operated by Cuban-American crime syndicates.

Wilfredo Lee/The Associated Press
Published: Thursday, May 1, 2008 at 12:50 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, May 1, 2008 at 12:50 p.m.

MIAMI - Authorities say at least 135 people have been arrested during raids across Florida of suspected marijuana grow houses.

Officials say 150 houses with indoor marijuana operations were raided Wednesday, from the Florida Keys to the Panhandle. Miami U.S. Attorney R. Alexander Acosta says about 9,250 plants were seized, worth more than $41 million.

Authorities say there's an epidemic of indoor marijuana cultivation in Florida run by organized crime groups. Most of the people arrested will be prosecuted by state authorities, with federal authorities targeting the larger operations.

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