MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A southwest Miami-Dade woman was arrested after police found nearly 90 marijuana plants growing in her home.
Miami-Dade police said they seized 88 pounds of pot along with a gun from the home at 14624 SW 63rd Terrace. Miriam Baydes, 62, was charged with one count of armed drug trafficking, one count of renting property for the purpose of trafficking and grand theft.
Inside investigators said there was a fully functional hydroponics lab, an indoor pot garden. Investigators report finding a gun while searching the house. Police say Baydes told them she kept it for protection.
“This whole block was full of police cars. The police with guns and they told us to get inside the house,” said neighbor Gilda Sicasas.
Inside the house police found 103 marijuana plants. The also found a ‘power diversion’ which was used to steal electricity.
“I witnessed multitude of police cars parked in and around the area, carrying full automatic weapons out, handguns drawn and out,” said neighbor Steve Pierce.
Neighbors were stunned to hear that the quiet, unassuming woman they’ve known for years is accused of trafficking marijuana.
The last thing I would expect from her. She’s a nice lady. We walk our dogs. The dogs play together, traded baked goods like neighbors do,” said one neighbor who wanted to remain anonymous.
“It’s scary, you know, you never expect that,” said neighbor Javier Ortega. “I haven’t seen her for a long time. When she came to the neighborhood I used to see her more often. All I can say is that this is very strange.”
Ortega said he didn’t know her very well even though she has lived in the house across from his for the last nine years. He said when he first moved in, she was more sociable and used to walk her dog. But a couple of years ago, things changed. He added that he never smelled the marijuana and didn’t notice an increase in traffic at the house.
“This is the second time this has happened in our neighborhood,” said Sicasas. “A few months back the other house (pointing down the street) was also a grow house. You know it’s scary, I’ve been living in this neighborhood since 1978 and it’s the first time we’ve had any problems in the area.”
Sicasas said she did see a number of cars stopping by the home but didn’t think much of it. She added that while she didn’t smell the marijuana, on occasions her next door neighbor did. Sicasas never expected anything like this.
“I saw a very nice lady walking her little schnauzer every afternoon, you know, mornings and afternoons,” said Sicasas, “but I never suspected her to be involved in anything like that.”