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Costa Rica police arrest 2 US suspects in hydroponic pot bust

March 4, 2016

The Costa Rica Prosecutor’s Office requested six months of preventive prison for four suspects from the U.S., Colombia and Costa Rica arrested during four raids around the San José area Thursday.

Authorities discovered 35 doses of LSD and 526 marijuana plants, some up to 2 meters tall, in two marijuana grow houses, according to a statement from the Public Security Ministry Friday.

The U.S. suspects arrested on Thursday were a 44-year-old man with the last name Zev who lived in Escazú and a 31-year-old with the last name Kjar who lived in Heredia, according to the Security Ministry. A 39-year-old Costa Rican man, Sormani, from Pavas and a 29-year-old Colombian man, Mendoza, living in San José were also arrested.

The hydroponic marijuana grow houses were found in San Rafael de Heredia and Pavas. In Pavas, the facility had ventilation ducts hanging from the ceiling alongside grow lights, specialized watering systems and air conditioning units to control the temperature, according to a statement from the Prosecutor’s Office.

Besides growing equipment, police discovered two “how-to” books for marijuana home cultivation, a scale, processing and packaging equipment, two computers, a hard drive, and more than ₡6.8 million — roughly $12,000 — and $2,441 in cash, allegedly from drug sales.

The Prosecutor’s Office said in a statement that it believed the pot and LSD were primarily sold in San José’s Barrio California and in Cartago.

In December, police arrested four Costa Ricans for allegedly selling drugs produced by the suspects arrested Thursday.

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