CLAY COUNTY, Fla. - Detectives discovered a large marijuana growing operation in a rental house after responding to suspicious activity at the location.
An investigation revealed that the suspect, Bryan Hardy, 39, who was on the lease, rented the residence with the sole purpose of creating a grow house. He is being charged with cultivation of marijuana and leasing a structure for the purpose of cultivating marijuana.
Hardy rented the house located in the block of 2200 Felucca Drive and paid the rent on time every month, according to the owner, but when called by detectives on June 26, he denied doing so in several years.
Hardy was then questioned at his residence, in the block 500 Magnolia Avenue, about why he did not live there, yet the lease was in his name and rent was paid. Witnesses also saw him mowing the lawn. His story changed more than once, according to the affidavit.
Hardy agreed to a vehicle search and detectives found a note with ingredients commonly used in hydroponic marijuana grows, "tank-40; 2 sheets-30; Cal; Azamax-25; 2-Ph up-20; Black strap Molles" written on it. Azamax, PhUp, and Black Strap Molasses are commonly used in hydroponic marijuana grows.
Bryan's wife was questioned about the products and she stated that she takes care of her plants using "Miracle Grow" and denied knowing anything. Also, soil was found in his trunk that allegedly smelled like marijuana, which was not found.
A search warrant was issued on June 28 for the rental house. The 1200 square foot house was unoccupied and investigators discovered that it had been totally converted into a large marijuana grow operation.
The residence revealed plants growing in every room with special lighting, electrical, and airflow equipment all on timers. There were also many chemicals present that are used to grow marijuana.
Investigators seized a total of 155 plants, 16 grams of hashish, 27.5 grams of processed marijuana, and 134 grams of leaves and stems. They also discovered a digital scale, a written ledger with strains and potential costs, and mail with Hardy's name on it.
A warrant for Hardy's arrest was issued on July 5, and he was transported from his residence to Clay County Jail on July 10 and his bond is $100,006.
First Coast News