Tampa Police Stakeout Hydroponic Garden Store, Stalk Customers Assuming They're Pot Growers (InformationLiberation)
Monday December 5th, 2011
Police in Tampa Bay, Florida spy on a local garden store with cameras, stalk their customers, then use false pretexts to invade their homes without warrants in the hope they'll find drugs.
LARGO — Last fall, a white Chevy truck pulled into the parking lot of a hydroponic gardening shop on Ulmerton Road.Read the full story here, it's terrifying.
A man went in, purchased some supplies and drove off.
Someone was watching.
Detectives with the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, watching via a camera mounted on a pole nearby, recorded the Chevy's license plate number, checked motor vehicle records to identify the owner, and soon showed up at his home in Seminole.
Allen Underwood is one of dozens of Pinellas residents investigated by deputies over the past two years on suspicion of cultivating marijuana.
A part-time handyman with only a misdemeanor driving infraction on his record, Underwood made his way onto detectives' radar for one reason: He shopped at Simply Hydroponics.