Marijuana growing operation found in Deltona

DELTONA -- Volusia County narcotics agents found 416 marijuana plants in three homes in Deltona during raids yesterday and earlier today, according to the Volusia County Sheriff's Office. The plants have an approximate combined street value of more than $900,000. A man in one home was arrested, and an investigation is ongoing to find any other people who were involved in the grow operation, Sheriff's spokesman Brandon Haught said. Narcotics investigators conducted an investigation over the course of several months based on an initial citizen complaint and were able to obtain search warrants. The Volusia Bureau of Investigation and Volusia County Sheriff's SWAT Team executed the search warrants starting on Tuesday shortly before 7 p.m. at 216 Citation Ave. Found inside were 72 marijuana plants. Next, 435 Mitnik Drive was raided about 20 minutes later. There were 214 six-foot marijuana plants seized there. Finally, investigators went to 3175 Hyder Ave. at about 1 a.m. Wednesday, finding 130 4-foot marijuana plants. Each home was equipped with special grow lights, cooling systems and fertilizer. Johny Gonzalez, 26, was found at the Mitnik Drive house and charged with cultivation of cannabis and trafficking of cannabis. He was booked into the Volusia County Branch Jail in Daytona Beach. The Volusia Bureau of Investigation pools local, state and federal resources to combat large-scale narcotics operations, racketeering and organized crime. Agencies participating in the 16-member task force include the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Volusia County Sheriff's Office, Daytona Beach Police Department, Daytona Beach Shores Department of Public Safety, Port Orange Police Department, New Smyrna Beach Police Department and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.