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Monday, August 25, 2008

Marijuana Grow House Found In Mall Of The Americas

Agents found more than 200 marijuana plants inside a building at the Mall of the Americas in west Miami-Dade late Friday. Now they want to know who was cultivating them, and who set up the hydroponics lab that could have lit the mall on fire with flimsy wiring.

The Drug Enforcement Administration discovered the plants growing on the second floor of the mall in what agents said was a 400-square-foot storage area. An official with the D.E.A. told CBS4'S Shomari Stone that she's never seen anything like this before.

The 'grow house" had plants growing from three-to-six-feet tall in an air conditioned environment along with camera surveillance in a storage area on the second floor of the mall. The wiring was flimsy, and could have sparked a fire in the popular mall.

Some estimates put the value of marijuana as much as $3,500 per pound on Miami streets. Overall, officials say millions of dollars of pot was found, since each plant could be harvested four times a year.

Agents will not share how the drug house was found, only saying that the investigation is ongoing. Officials seized the drug plants as evidence. No arrests have been made. According to D.E.A. agents, officials at the Mall of the Americas are working with the agency.

can watch the video here