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6 sentenced in South Florida grow house operation

Posted at 9:12 PM, Jul 29, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-29 21:12:00-04

  MIAMI (AP) - A half-dozen more people have been sentenced in a South Florida grow house operation that ended after the murder of a man suspected of stealing their marijuana.


      The U.S. Attorney's Office in Miami reported Monday that Gilberto Santiesteban Jr., Darvis Santiesteban, Gilberto Santiesteban Sr., Tomy Gonzalez, Lisa Gonzalez and Norge Manduley were the latest batch to be sentenced.


      The Santiestebans - Mariel boatlift refugee Gilberto Sr. and his sons Derrick, Gilberto Jr., Alexander and Darvis - were arrested last year and accused of operating hydroponic marijuana grow houses throughout the Miami-area since 2004. Authorities claimed the operation yielded more than 1,000 plants that produced millions in profits.


      Their lucrative operation began to fall apart in June 2009 when several gunmen posing as police officers stole about 40 pounds of marijuana. One of the robbers turned up dead three days later.