Marijuana grow house found in Port Orange coffee business

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PORT ORANGE, Fla. - Port Orange police uncovered a marijuana grow house inside a coffee bean roasting business off Oak Place in Volusia County.

The owner, Christopher Brown of East Coast Roasters Coffee, was arrested Tuesday after an employee tipped off police about the operation.

The employee, who was roasting coffee beans late one night, said he went into his boss' private gym to turn off lights and found about 60 cannabis plants.

Police also found lights and hydroponic growing supplies.

The businesses in the industrial park know East Coast Roasters well, and said coffee in the warehouse can be smelled from yards away. The owner would even give his neighbor, Diego Bressler, his empty burlap coffee bags.

"He'd bring them over and let me have them. He was a nice enough guy. Nothing ever ... it didn't even cross my mind that something like that would be happening," Bressler said.

A man who answered the door here Wednesday at East Coast Roasters Coffee said he didn't know about them.

Neighboring business said high power bills tipped them off that something wasn't right before the employee discovered the plants and tipped off authorities.

Bressler said the property management was also concerned about the water.

"They asked us, 'Can we come in to check out to see where there might be a water leak or something going on?'" Bressler said.

Brown bonded out of jail. At his home a "Christopher Bean" coffee sticker was on his mailbox, but Brown wasn't home.