Levy officials identify marijuana suspects

Published: Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 8:47 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 8:47 a.m.

WILLISTON The names of the two suspects in an underground marijuana growing operation have been confirmed by the Levy County Sheriff's Office.

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William Diaz, 53

Alachua County Sheriff's Office

The man in custody has been positively identified as William Diaz, 53. Diaz had told deputies that he was 47-year-old Eduardo Morales Rodriguez. Diaz now is in federal custody, according to the law enforcement agency.

The woman who was arrested with Diaz initially provided multiple identifications. On Wednesday she was positively identified by deputies as Marisa Bershad, 33.

Investigators discovered almost 200 high-grade marijuana plants Monday on 50 acres at 3651 NE 140th Ave. on Monday. The plants were concealed in a bunker beneath a pole barn. The bunker had been equipped with air conditioning, a generator, a computer system and an irrigation system. Officers have estimated the value at the plants at almost $900,000.

Officers also reported that they found powdered cocaine at the property and additional charges could be filed in the case, which is expected to end up in federal court.

On Wednesday, county building and zoning officials condemned the pole barn. State environmental officials were dispatched to the scene and took soil and air quality samples inside the bunker for testing.

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