Shortly after 2:00 pm, on Monday, September 14, 2015, Polk County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a residential fire located at 1314 28th Street NW, Winter Haven. It was learned the residence contained a marijuana grow operation. Members of the PCSO High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, or HIDTA, Task Force responded to being an investigation.
According to the affidavit:
Detective’s learned 25-year-old Reinaldo Fernandez was found at the residence attempting to put out the fire before fire fighters could arrive.
The State Fire Marshal also resonded and determined, preliminarily, the fire started at the site of an illegal electric tap. Detectives located 33 large mature marijuana plans in two rooms of the residence, as well as, equipment used to grow the plants.
Fernandez was charged with First Degree Arson, Cultivation of Cannabis, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Own/Rent a Structure Known to Manufacture Drugs. He was booked into the Polk County Jail without incident.
The investigation is ongoing.