Polk County Sheriff’s Office detectives arrested Steven Owen Rigney, 103 Conch Way, Poinciana, on Tuesday, August 02, 2011, charging Rigney with Cultivation of Cannabis, Possession of Cannabis over 20 grams, Possession of Cannabis with Intent to Sell, Possession of Firearm by a Convicted Felon, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Maintaining a Residence for Drug Manufacturing, and Possession of Cocaine.
Polk County Sheriff’s Office detectives learned of a possible “grow house” at the Conch Way residence and attempted to make contact with the occupants on Monday, August 1, 2011. Upon their arrival, the odor of cannabis was radiating from the garage area of the residence.
A search warrant was obtained and Rigney was found hiding in an upstairs bedroom. During a search of the residence, detectives found a downstairs room and the garage converted to an indoor cannabis grow. Each grow room was equipped with lights, fans, ballasts for growing cannabis. Fertilizer and other growing materials were found throughout the downstairs. The garage contained 75 live cannabis plants growing in pots with soil. The downstairs room contained 48 live plants also growing in pots of soil. A total of 123 plants were found inside the residence, along with loose cannabis throughout the downstairs and kitchen. Plastic baggies and other evidence of packaging were found in the kitchen.
Upstairs rooms of the residence were either being used for growing cannabis or were being prepared to be used for growing cannabis.
During a search of the suspect’s bedroom and spare bedroom more packaged cannabis and baggies containing cocaine residue were recovered. In the closet of the spare bedroom a loaded 9mm handgun was found.
Progress Energy responded and located an illegal tap at the meter box. The suspect was stealing electricity to avoid detection by the power company and law enforcement.
The suspect is a convicted felon with a history of burglary in South Florida.