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Thursday, September 19, 2019
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Ninety-Seven Pot Plants Seized in Pueblo West
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Pueblo, CO: Pueblo County Sheriff’s S.W.A.T. Team members executed search warrants this morning at homes in Pueblo West and arrested two men after finding 97 marijuana plants in separate illegal grow operations. The estimated street value of the plants is $97,000.

Sheriff’s Detectives, with assistance from the Drug Enforcement Administration, executed the warrants at a home in the 1200 block of N. Hill Lane and another in the 500 block of Autumn Drive after receiving separate citizen’s tips of possible illegal grow operations at the homes. Deputies do not believe the two grow operations are related. State law allows only 12 marijuana plants per home.

At the Hill Lane residence, Deputies found 37 marijuana plants in various stages of growth inside the home. While searching the home, Deputies saw the resident, Onil Ortega, 48, attempting to hide some of the marijuana plants under the stairs in the home. Ortega, who is from Florida with ties to Cuba, was arrested for cultivation of marijuana (more than 30 plants) and destruction of evidence. He has been booked into the Pueblo County Jail.

At the Autumn Drive home, Deputies found 60 marijuana plants growing in two rooms inside the residence. The home’s resident, Brian Rodriguez, 30, attempted to conceal some of the plants in a crawl space of the home. Rodriguez was arrested for cultivation of marijuana (more than 30 plants) and destruction of evidence. He was booked into the Pueblo County Jail.

This is the second time in two years, Deputies have gone to the Autumn Drive address to check the status of a reported marijuana grow. In 2017, the grow was found to be in compliance with the state law at the time. In 2018, state law was changed, limiting only 12 marijuana plants per home.

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The Greenhorn Valley View is a weekly newspaper serving the communities of the Greenhorn Valley in Southern Colorado,
including Colorado City, Rye, San Isabel, Beulah and Hatchet Ranch.

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