Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Tornado Uncovers Pot Operation in Florida

SF Gate

(04-13) 14:22 PDT PALM BAY, Fla. (AP) --
A tornado that ripped through Geoffrey Crook's home in February didn't just tear away his roof. Authorities say it exposed his elaborate marijuana-growing operation.
Crook, 41, was charged Tuesday with possession and manufacturing of cannabis after police officers served him with an arrest warrant at his job. He was released on $1,000 bond Tuesday night.
The operation had lamps, hydroponic equipment and log books. Fifty-four marijuana plants neatly arranged in master bedroom had a street value of about $8,000, authorities said.
The operation was uncovered after an F-1 tornado swept through the Palm Bay neighborhood where Crook lived. The tornado, with winds whipping up to 112 mph, tore away Crook's roof.
Palm Bay police and other emergency crews were searching through the debris for injured victims when they came across the two-to-three foot plants. Crook was not at home during the storm.
Crook had a disconnected telephone number and couldn't be reached for comment Wednesday.

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