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BROOKSVILLE — It started as a grand theft investigation off a rural highway.


 Gwen Cannon.jpeg

Gwen Cannon

It ended with a hazmat team carrying away dangerous waste and an arrest of a woman accused of running a meth lab and marijuana grow house on her 9-acre property.

Gwen Cannon, 49, of 17306 Ponce de Leon Blvd., was charged with cultivation of marijuana, manufacturing methamphetamine, two counts of possession of a structure or conveyance for manufacturing a controlled substance, possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Deputies from the Hernando County Sheriff’s Office showed up Tuesday night to investigate the theft of an all-terrain vehicle. Moments after their arrival, they discovered the drug evidence, said agency spokeswoman Denise Moloney.

Cannon was arrested and deputies held the scene until daylight Wednesday.

That morning, vice and narcotics investigators inventoried the drug items and a hazmat unit – contracted through the Drug Enforcement Agency – collected the combustible materials and took them to a disposal site, Moloney said.

Among the seized evidence, deputies said, were 13 marijuana plants, 16 marijuana root balls, 47.9 grams of marijuana plant material, 46.4 grams of methamphetamine dissolved in liquid, 0.2 grams of methamphetamine, various paraphernalia and several cultivation and manufacturing items – including lights, coffee filters, cold packs and more.

Moloney said a shotgun and rifle also were seized.

The grow operation was located in a motor home on Cannon’s property, along with several items related to methamphetamine manufacturing, including “one-pot” meth cooks, also referred to as “shake n’ bakes.”

The one-pot method allows someone to make methamphetamine in a single container, often a soda bottle, which can be flipped upside down and can cause a chemical reaction. The pressure is so intense it could potentially explode and cause injuries.

The one-pot cooks at Cannon’s property were photographed before they were removed from the scene by the hazmat unit, deputies said.

Cannon was held at the Hernando County Jail in lieu of $45,000 bail.

Detectives said they discovered the stolen ATV on Cannon’s property.

A stolen mower also was found, according to the sheriff’s office. Additional charges may be forthcoming.



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