MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A South Florida couple with young children is accused of running a hydroponics lab out of their Westchester home.READ MORE: Broward School Board May Ease Mask Mandate
Miami-Dade Police said they seized more than 100 marijuana plants from the home shared by Manny Dieguez and Ivette Montero – and two children, ages 2 and 3 months.
From Facebook photos, Dieguez and Montero appear to be your typical happy family. But their mugshots tell a different story. So do their actions, prosecutors said.
“One-hundred and eighty-three pounds of marijuana is quite a bit,” a Miami-Dade prosecutor told Judge Marisa Tinkler Mendez in court Thursday.
Prosecutors said what was more disturbing were the young children living in the home.
“The state would just note that there were two minor children involved which is of serious concern to the state,” the prosecutor told the judge.
In addition to drug charges, the couple is also charged with child abuse. However, defense attorneys told the judge that the pot was found on a separate property.READ MORE: Florida Is Ditching Palm Trees To Fight Climate Crisis
“They have no access to it,” Dieguez’s defense attorney told the judge. “It has a separate entrance. The children were not privy to anything that was there.”
The judge still ordered Dieguez and Montero held on bond until they can prove that the money they will use to get out of jail comes from legitimate means.
Neighbors said they rarely saw the couple outside of their home which has surveillance cameras and signs warning of cameras in use.
Investigators said the couple also stole electricity from FPL.
Neighbors told CBS4 they never saw anything suspicious at the home and were surprised when police showed up to search the home and arrest the couple on Wednesday night.
Neighbor Jorge Rosario is among those shocked by the news.
“I would never guess that something like that could happen,” Rosario said. “Pretty quiet neighborhood. A few families move in here recently so it kind of throws us off to see that happen.”MORE NEWS: COVID-19 Testing Sites In South Florida
As for the children, prosecutors said in court that the children are in the care of the Department of Children and Families.