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U.S. woman arrested in raid on marijuana lab in Perez Zeledón

November 18, 2011

A U.S. woman and four Costa Rican men were arrested Tuesday at a home in the Pedregoso neighborhood of San Isidro de Pérez Zeledón, in southern Costa Rica. The home allegedly was being used as a marijuana laboratory. According to the Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ), the raid Tuesday was carried out after an 8-month investigation led them to the residence.

Photos from the home provided by the OIJ reveal hundreds of marijuana plants in small flower pots and an extensive lighting, irrigation, packaging and drying system. Two floors of the home were dedicated to marijuana cultivation and hundreds of plants and packaged bags were found labeled according to their different varieties. The OIJ estimated that the value of the marijuana was ₡20 million ($40,000) and the equipment used was worth ₡15 million ($30,000).           

On Friday, the Judicial Court of Pérez Zeledón sentenced the man suspected of running the operation, whose last name is Villalobos Solís, to three months preventive prison. The U.S. woman, whose last name was reported as Lee, was sentenced to three months of probation and is not allowed to leave the country during that time.

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