Local 10 reports that Miami-Dade firefighters who were called to a house fire in southwest Miami-Dade County discovered 21 marijuana plants in the back of the home, leading them to believe that it might be a grow house, and called Miami-Dade police.
Police said the marijuana had a street value of $84,000.
It has not been revealed just how many marijuana plants were allegedly present in the house, nor how mature the plants were at the time they were discovered. Sometimes, plants that are mere seedlings only warrant a charge of attempted trafficking, which does not carry a mandatory minimum sentence.
Trafficking in marijuana is defined by statute as "selling, purchasing, manufacturing, delivering, or bringing into the state, or being in actual or constructive possession of 25 pounds of marijuana or more, or 300 or more plants."
If the occupant of this home were in the process of cultivating 300 marijuana plants or more, he would be charged with trafficking. Trafficking in marijuana can carry a 3-year mandatory prison term, if not more depending on how many plants.
Trafficking is a first-degree felony punishable by 30 years in prison.
If there were less that 300 plants, he may be charged with attempted trafficking or perhaps possession with intent to sell.
Eric Matheny is a criminal defense attorney serving Miami-Dade and Broward. Call today to discuss your case.