MARION COUNTY, Fla.,None - A marijuana grow field was discovered by the Marion County Sheriff's Office Air Unit as it was flying over the area of McIntosh on Wednesday afternoon, officials said.
Deputies and drug agents said they responded to the 5400 block of NW 144 Place to investigate.
Agents said when they located the grow field, which was in a dried pond, they found and confiscated 696 plants.
Investigators said some of the plants were as tall as 15 feet. The total weight of the plants, agents said, was 438.5 pounds. Deputies said that the street value of the marijuana was estimated at $700,000.
Agents said they found a walking trail that led to a home on Court Road, which belongs to 50-year-old Jesse Reese. Agents said Reese admitted that he grew the plants for personal use and for his friends. Reese was charged with trafficking marijuana and is being held in the Marion County jail with a $50,000 bond, deputies said.
WFTV was told that Reese doesn't own the property where the marijuana was found. It belongs to his elderly parents, and investigators said they don't believe his parents had any idea what was growing there.