On March 19, 2007, members of the HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) Task Force seized 542 marijuana plants and arrested five men for Trafficking in Cannabis after investigation led them to a marijuana grow house in Lakeland. The value of the plants seized is estimated at $542,000.
Detectives received information about a possible grow house at 2948 Ewell Road in Lakeland. Detectives responded to the residence and observed several subjects moving trash bags from the garage of the residence to 2 separate vehicles. Once both vehicles left the residence, detectives stopped the vehicles and found trash from marijuana grows in both bags, including large marijuana plant stems and trimmings. The four men in the vehicles were taken back to the residence and questioned with the homeowner, Elias Rubio. Detectives then searched the residence, where they located a sophisticated 4-room marijuana grow lab, complete with lights, light ballasts, dehumidifiers, and paperwork.
All five men arrested are of Cuban descent and are from the Miami/Naples area. They are all being held under no bond in the Polk County Jail, and are all charged with Trafficking in Cannabis, and Conspiracy to Traffic Cannabis. They are:
Elias Rubio, DOB 9/7/73, of 2948 Ewell Road in Lakeland;
Vladimir Fominalla, DOB 1/2/84, of 118 Hialeah Drive in Hialeah;
Teudis Zamora, DOB 7/29/85, of 3421 2nd Avenue SE in Naples;
Jorge Morales, DOB 10/23/62, of 10021 45th Street NW in Miami;
Jose Castillo, DOB 8/9/80, of 240 Everglades Blvd South in Naples.