A father and son are behind bars for allegedly growing marijuana out of their home in Maurice.
Leonardo Rivero senior, 48, and Leonardo Junior, 22, were arrested by Vermilion Parish narcotics agents last week. Agents say the two allegedly grew hydroponic marijuana worth nearly half a million dollars. They also seized equipment worth several thousand dollars. Agents made the bust on the 64-hundred block of Wilson road. Neighbors say they never expected anything like it could happen on their block. Many neighbors say Leonardo was a quiet man who would help her out if she needed it. Both father and son are being charged with multiple charges, including cultivation of marijuana. Both are being held on bond.
The Vermilion Parish Sheriff's Office Narcotics unit seized several thousand dollars worth of equipment, illicit narcotics and other forms of evidence this week after conducting a search warrant on Wilson Rd.
After a lengthy investigation, agents made contact with one Leonardo Rivero Sr of 6408 Wilson Rd. in reference to Rivero selling a large amount of marijuana. After confirming that such a transaction was to take place, agents applied for a search warrant. Due to circumstances arising throughout the investigation, the Vermilion Parish Sheriff's Office S.R.T. Unit's aid was enlisted to execute the warrant. Upon gaining entry into the residence agents located a very sophisticated "Hydroponic Marijuana Grow" inside of an attached room. Agents seized grow lamps drying tables, cooling systems, hydration systems, and various other pieces of evidence to confirm that marijuana was being grown inside of the residence. Sheriff Couvillon states, "This was not your run of the mill low end grow. This person literally built this room and equipped it for an illicit business. We have never come across such an elaborate set up in this parish. From the filtration systems, to the separate heating and cooling system for tropical climate control, to the packaging of the product, it was all done in house. The suspect also had heat reflecting insulation in the room to obscure law enforcement from using certain equipment to detect such grows from the outside. The equipment alone is worth several thousand dollars. But the street level sale of the product we are estimating at $420,000. It looks as though he was in a very lucrative business; that is until now."
Arrested and charged in the operation were: Leonardo Rivero Sr (dob 6-11-64) of Vermilion Parish, charged with cultivation of marijuana, conspiracy to distribute marijuana, and proceeds derived from illegal narcotics. Total bond set on Rivero Sr is $100,000. Rivero's son Leonardo Rivero Jr. (dob 1-11-90) of Pimbrook Pines Florida, charged with Cultivation of Marijuana, and Principal to distribute marijuana. Total bond set $50,000.
Sheriff Couvillon would like to applaud all law enforcement agents involved in this case and reiterates his dedication to taking drugs off of the streets while keeping the people and children of Vermilion Parish safe.