On July 19 Montura Deputy L. Dominguez of the Hendry County Sheriff’s Office arrested 29-year old Leonardo Brum Almeida for an outstanding warrant, stemming from an HCSO Vice/Narcotics Unit investigation which began on April 6.
On April 6 it was reported to the Sheriff’s Office Vice/Narcotics Unit that employees with Glades Electric discovered that the electrical meter had been tampered with at Almeida's residence.
Observations at the residence indicated that the residence was being used to cultivate marijuana. Almeida was seen quickly loading items into the trunk of his vehicle and leaving the property prior to the arrival of Sheriff's Office personnel.
Deputies were able to locate Almeida after he left his residence and conducted a traffic stop. A probable cause search of the vehicle disclosed approximately 20 pounds of marijuana, approximately 20 grams of cocaine and 2,262 pills later identified as Ecstasy inside.
During this arrest Almeida was charged with trafficking amphetamine, trafficking marijuana, possession of cocaine with intent to sell and cocaine possession charges.
Immediately following the arrest of Almeida, Hendry County Sheriff’s Office Vice Narcotics Unit executed a search warrant at Almeida's home in the 200 block of Trebol Street, in the community of Montura Ranch Estates.
Once inside the residence, investigators discovered the residence was an extensive marijuana grow operation with several rooms that had been converted to facilitate marijuana cultivation.
Also inside the residence was a large amount of Ecstasy, MDMA, cocaine and another substance suspected to be used as a cutting agent for MDMA. It was clear to investigators that the property was being used for the sole purpose of manufacturing and trafficking illicit narcotics.
On April 7 Almeida was released on a $70,500 bond.