It’s a small house–1,350 square feet, flanked by two wooded lots, at the corner of L-shaped 2nd Path at the southeast edge of Palm Coast’s Seminole Woods, within hearing distance of I-95.
And there for the past year, according the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, Shawn Dyer, 38, had been growing marijuana for the past year, in a somewhat elaborate operation that drew its electrical power by bypassing the house’s power meter. (The sheriff’s news release does not specify whether it is one of Florida Power & Light’s new, “smart” meters.)
At 7:20 a.m. Friday, sheriff’s investigators, along with Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents knocked and entered the house to serve a search warrant signed by Judge J. David Walsh on Sept. 27.
Dyer was alone in the house. Police, according to his arrest report, found 26 marijuana plants–two more than the threshold below which an individual accused of growing pot faces lesser punishment. Those convicted of cultivating 25 or more plans can face up to 15 years in prison. The plants were discovered in a grow room equipped with grow lights, ballasts, planters, dehumidifiers and other equipment necessary to grow pot.
The plants, a sheriff’s release noted, “had an estimated street value of $78,000. An estimated 6.5 pounds of packaged marijuana, worth $19,500, was found throughout the residence in plastic bags and bins. Deputies also recovered 152 grams of Hydrocodone liquid, 5 grams of oxycodone and 13 grams of valium.”
There had been something of a lull in the past 10 months in marijuana grow-house busts until the Friday arrest. On the last day of the year last year, sheriff’s investigators had busted their fourth grow house in 10 months, that one precipitated by the house’s tenant, Shaune Lawrence, then 54, who’d called cops to report a home invasion.
Instead of finding the perpetrators of the home invasion at 5 Fleming Court in Palm Coast, cops found 110 marijuana plants, most of them small, though at full potential they could have yielded some 55 pounds of pot. Lawrence’s case is still wending its way in Flagler County Circuit Court. He faces two third degree felonies (for possession and manufacture of pot) and a first degree misdemeanor.
The previous month, there was a pot bust at 15 Wheatfield Drive. That June a wife turned in her husband over a grow house at 111 Birchwood Drive in Palm Coast. And In February 2012, the rash of busts began with the discovery of small pot plants at at 20 Princeton Lane in Palm Coast.
“This operation has removed a substantial amount of marijuana and drugs from the streets of our county,” Flagler County Sheriff Jim Manfre said, referring to the 2nd Path bust. “We realize, however, that another dealer will step up, so we will continue with these special investigations with the objective of removing illegal drugs from the community.”
Dwyer, whose home address in his jail booking is listed as 59 White Feather Lane, was charged with one count of marijuana cultivation and released on $7,500 bond.
Florida’s pot laws remain among the harshest in the nation. Two states have legalized possession of small quantities of pot outright (Colorado and Oregon), while some 20 states have decriminalized pot possession or legalized the possession of pot for medical purposes. Marijuana’s effects are far less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco, though it has a number of medical benefits.
Without appearing to want to minimize the dangers of alcohol and tobacco, I’ll point out that according to a report on CNN, Dr. Sanjay Gupta says marijuana adversely affects the brain development of young people under the age of 24. I personally don’t care what adults do with their bodies, as long as I don’t have to pay for it or the aftermath. I disagree with outright legalization of pot because it will make it easier and more socially acceptable for kids to buy and use. Personally I find it pretty sad that so many people are all excited about the liberalization of pot laws; apparently lives are so boring they have to put themselves into a stupor to get by.
proud lefty says
Alcohol is a “stupor”…..pot is a “buzz.” I smoked weed as a teen and young adult. I am now a middle aged business owner. Just think what I could have done if I allowed my brain to develop! Alcohol costs society billions in lost productivity, crime, deaths, etc…..the only cost to society with weed is a massive, fruitless, law enforcement and imprisonment culture paid for by you….the taxpayer.
I would take what Gupta says with a grain of salt, since he elected to spend years and years railing against the evils of cannabis, choosing to just ignore the overwhelming peer-reviewed evidence demonstrating both medical uses and minimal societal impact. I’m sure that the only reason he decided to change his stance was because CNN market analysis showed that a positive slant on cannabis would bring in more viewership and web site hits, thereby increasing revenue.
That said, cannabis, if it does indeed show negative effects regarding brain development, has less impact than alcohol does. The problem is that while alcohol has been legal for a very long time and many, many studies have been done on its effects, cannabis has only been “legal” again for a short amount of time, so extended and controlled studies on it are minimal. I’ve found peer-reviewed, recent articles claiming no changes in brain scans in teens, and I’ve found articles claiming persistant long-term effects, but nothing compared to alcohol. If my kid is going to sneak out and do something, which they all do, I would much rather have them light up than drink.
Theobald Wolfetone says
By what right does one claim control over my body?
By what right does one decide I cannot heal or damage my body how I see fit?
The only reason marijuana is illegal is because the prison-industrial complex of this nation found a way to profit off of it in a way that didn’t yet exist during Alcohol Prohibition (which too led to skyrocketing amounts of organised crime). Legalise the drug, as it’s less harmful than alcohol and tobacco, and you eliminate the violence that accompanies organised crime that profits off such illegal activity.
The real reason marijuana is not legal is because the government can’t find a way to TAX it. It grows anywhere. Like the storm water ditch behind my house. Someone just harvested a big budding plant last week, I’ve been watching it all summer. The ditch hasn’t been cut since early March. I called John Moden’s office to complain they told me that they were behind schedule, what else is new!! The weeds are 9 feet tall and the ditch does not drain properly, so not only is marijuana growing but mosquitos are big enough to carry you away. Its not a stupor to get by Outsider, Dr. Sanjay Gupta also said that it is medicinally helpful to people with all kinds of illnesses, diseases and pain. It is up for a vote to legalize it for medicinal purposes in Florida this year, it is legal in Washington D.C. for medicinal purpose and 22 other states. But here in Florida you go to jail for a roach in your ashtray. COME ON MAN !!!!!!!!
will be legalized soon. states already have medical, and with morgan and morgan (for the people) playing his speech to legalize it in fl for medicinal use, it’s already in the works. look at California for example. look at the tax $$$$ and #’s they are producing. look at the sports training facilities over there, immaculate, top of the line, and who payed for it? the state. how? MEDICAL MARIJUANA. we have just used California as a test subject, and now other states including ours, need and want the tax money off the damn plant that so many people need. wtf…
Oh I’m sure that Palm Coast is much safer now that the mean plant grower has been arrested.
McGregor Le Smellbullshyt says
I find it humorous that they can say that 26 indoor plants have a street value of 78,000 dollars. Even at peak price of 400 dollars an ounce you don’t even touch that number. assuming you are yeilding, maybe, 1.5 ounces per plant from an average indoor plant that’s 37 ounces max you are around 15,000 dollars. Hell even at two ounce a plant which is stretching it at $20,000. Where the f*ck do they get their numbers? Are they assuming this guy is growing a few pounds and selling nickels on the street corner for max dollar? Get real. This sensationalism by the media and law enforcement is laughable at best.
My Daily Rant says
Where will I get my Weed now.
Andy Nonymous says
Outsider, how would marijuana legalization make it any more socially acceptable and accessible to minors than compared to alcohol? Regulate and control it in the same manner as you would with any alcoholic beverage.
Flofida native. says
Drugs,thugs,red light cameras,corrupt politicians and sheriff’s office and very hostile anti business attitude is sinking what used to be a nice town into a dark abyss that it might never recover from. I tell people that I live in Palm Coast and they always say, “I’m sorry. I try to stay away from that place.”
man eating pot heads, that’s what I am worried about at night…
abby normal says
If you cant do the time, dont do the crime.
abby normal says
Go after the Pill Pushers, the low lifes selling oxys and the scumbag doctors who give them out like candy. Thats whats destroying our community people dont rob and steal over pot. Once their hooked on that other crap their just looking for a way to come up with the money to buy more oxys.Yes sir hang those oxy selling pieces of crap who are destroying our community.
I just moved here, and cant find anyone of these people. Please hang a sign out front so i know where to go :)