On March 22, at 11:32 a.m., the Lakeland Police Department responded to a tip that the residence at 624 Hillside Drive was a grow house for cannabis. Officers arrived and made contact with the resident, Yoandris Alvarez Gutierrez. Upon making contact, officers could smell the odor of cannabis. Gutierrez gave consent for officers to search the residence.
Officers discovered that one room in the house had been converted into an active cannabis nursery utilizing environmental control, an irrigation system, electrical power transformers operating high intensity lighting, and twenty-one growing cannabis plants. Some of the cannabis plants were 3’ tall. The entrance to the room was through a small 3’x2’ makeshift door in a closet which also had a heavy odor of cannabis emanating from it. The original doorway to this room had been dry walled over. Further investigation revealed that the electric service line into the residence had been tapped, bypassing the power meter.
Detectives from the Special Investigations Section responded to assist in the investigation. This location is within 500 feet of Carlton Palmore Elementary School. Gutierrez was arrested and transported to the Polk County Jail.
Yoandris Alvarez Gutierrez, DOB 11/13/89, 624 Hillside Drive.
· Cultivation of Cannabis within 1000 Feet of a School
· Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
· Maintaining a Structure to Cultivate a Controlled Substance
· Tampering with Utility Fixtures.