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Illegal marijuana operation near Clermont stole electricity worth ‘millions,’ deputies say

A large illegal marijuana operation near Clermont is believed to have used millions of dollars in stolen electricity. Images: LCSO

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office has dismantled what could be the biggest illegal indoor marijuana operation the county has ever seen.

Acting on a tip Tuesday, detectives raided seven makeshift buildings on Florida Boys Ranch Road near Clermont.

They seized a large amount of cannabis concentrate, more than 300 pounds of processed marijuana, 767 big plants and a couple of guns.

Sheriff’s officials estimated the street value at $2.3 million.

They say the growers stole enough electricity to power a small town.

The electric company, which was not identified, estimated the value of the stolen power to be in the millions, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Detectives arrested a man who was found there.

They say 79-year-old Narino Orozco-Montoya faces charges of drug trafficking, grand theft and more.

Another man escaped from the property.

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Joe Byrnes

About Joe Byrnes


Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.