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Thursday, May 24, 2018
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Hernando deputies: Ex-batting cage business was pot grow house

A commercial building in Brooksville that once housed Hernando County’s only batting cages had taken on a new life as a marijuana grow house in recent times, according to the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office.

On Thursday, detectives served a search warrant at 2121 Culbreath Road to investigate power being diverted from the meter on the property, police said.

Detectives noticed the strong odor of marijuana plants coming from an outbuilding and upon further investigation discovered that the building, once known as Archie’s Shoe and Saddle Shop, had been gutted to make way for a marijuana growing operation, deputies said.

Archie’s, which had closed years earlier, was well known for many years for having the only batting cages in the area for youth baseball players, deputies said.

The search revealed three individual grow rooms, which had a total of 73 marijuana plants, deputies said. Detectives seized approximately 31.75 pounds of marijuana plant material.

Two men were arrested at the scene, Leodermys Galdo Garcia, 27, and Pablo Estrada Morgado, 39. Both men were charged with trespass in a utility fixture, theft of utilities, cultivation of marijuana, trafficking in marijuana, possession of paraphernalia and possession of a structure for trafficking in or manufacturing in controlled substances.

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