In what seems like an episode out of Showtime’s “Weeds,” a Florida man who volunteered as a youth soccer coach was arrested Thursday for allegedly operating a massive marijuana grow house.
Police discovered roughly 33 pounds of processed marijuana, 100 Ziploc bags full of the drug and an additional 319 plants inside Polk County Youth Soccer Club coach Micah Crane’s rental home, according to multiple reports. He now faces charges for manufacturing and trafficking cannabis.
Detectives estimated the value of the operation found during a search of the home at $1.6 million.
Crane passed background checks for his volunteer coaching position, according to reports. Naturally, Crane’s youth soccer team, The Auburndale Scream, issued a written statement following his arrest.
“Per Florida Youth Soccer Association, Crane will be suspended pending due legal process,” Scream president Jason Herzog said in a statement to Winter Haven’s FOX 13.
Police are currently working to determine whether the 36-year-old Crane lived at the home where the marijuana was discovered and if other residences may be linked to the large-scale operation.
“We are shocked,” neighbor Joan Slevin told WLFA-TV. “He totally fooled us, because we thought he lived there. He had a dog that was there. He would wash his car out in the driveway. He even put candy out for the kids at Halloween and decorated at Christmas time. It makes us sad and disheartened, because he’s seemed like a very nice person. So I guess even nice people can make bad choices.”
Crane has been charged with possession of a drug-trafficking structure, cultivating marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, trafficking marijuana and grant theft of a utility, according to reports. His name was discovered on utility bills, police said. Investigators valued Crane’s alleged use of stolen electricity at $4,600 for a three-month period. He is being held on $151,000 bail.