Houston drug bust largest in county history

Houston County investigators say they seized more than $4 million in cash, pot plants, and processed marijuana from several homes.

They raided 6 houses and say 4 of them were actually "grow houses."

Captain Jon Holland with the Sheriff's Office says he's never seen a bust like this.

"Far as I know, this is the largest marijuana grow operation raid in Houston County's history. It was extensive," he said.

And so were the renovations the tenants made inside the homes.

We spoke to the owner of one of the houses, who was not involved in the pot operation and not charged in the case.

He says he was renting the home to what he thought was "a nice family."

Without his knowledge, he says his tenants turned the home into "a tropical rainforest," perfect for growing the plant.

The landlord did not want to be identified, but he gave me a tour of the home.

He says the tenants gutted the stove, cabinets, and other appliances from the home. They then covered the ceiling and walls with Mylar, a polyester foil.

They installed heat lamps and heat deflectors, extra air conditioning and even a water pump to keep the plants growing. They pumped water from the lake behind the home to water the plants.

"It was all one operation. These four people actually resided in one residence in Perry. The grow houses, no one actually lived in them. They all had the appearance that they were lived in," Captain Holland said.

And the growers took great pains to make sure no one would suspect otherwise.

They put boxes over the windows, and put timed lights in them, to make it look like someone turned the lights on.

The owner says they even scattered toys in the front yard to make it seem as though children were there.

Four people are in the Houston County jail.

Gilberto Padron-German and Lazaro Martinez are both charged with manufacturing marijuana and conspiracy to traffic marijuana.

Juan Miguel Padron is charged with conspiracy to manufacture marijuana.

And Rachel Miguel Roque is charged with marijuana trafficking.

The sheriff's department says they raided homes on Tuesday, Feb. 11 in Perry and Fort Valley and they seized more than 386 marijuana plants. Holland says planning for the raid began in November of 2013.

The sheriff's department says more arrests are expected.


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