Cops Charge S. Florida Man In 15-Home Indoor Pot Farm Operation; Allegedly Paid Straw Borrowers $10K To Finance Home Purchases
- El Jefe is in the county jail without bail, authorities said. Marijuana growers used the name — Spanish for "The Boss" — for Miguel Fernandez, who ran a $7 million drug empire from about 15 grow houses, mostly in the Loxahatchee area, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office. Fernandez, 45, of Hialeah, was booked into the county jail Thursday on a charge of a continuing criminal enterprise involving drugs. [...] "He was the major player in Palm Beach County as far as the cultivating and growing of marijuana," said assistant statewide prosecutor Luis Martinez. "The main guy is done. We have crippled the organization because we have taken him out."
- Fernandez, who has no criminal record in the state, set up and ran grow houses that contained growing chemicals and crude electrical wiring, investigators say. "It is a complete health hazard," Martinez said. "Right next door you have a regular family living there."
- Fernandez got so many houses by "purchasing someone's credit," according to the arrest report. He would pay $10,000 to use someone's credit and apply it through his connections with mortgage brokers and title companies, the arrest report said. "Miguel will also pay up to $2,000 per pound to the worker if he or she actually owns the home and lives there to tend the crops," Sheriff's Agent Aron Vento wrote.
See also, Palm Beach Post: Informant helps sheriff's office bust grow houses.
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