Pueblo, CO: Late Tuesday night Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office Deputies followed-up on a tip of a possible excessive marijuana grow at 38000 block of Bush Rd in Avondale, CO. The property owner, 45-year-old Mario Gonsalves told deputies he was growing medical marijuana for himself but admitted the number of plants he had on the property were more than the amount he was permitted by law.
After obtaining a search warrant, over 600 marijuana plants were found, that number far exceeded the permissible plant number of 75 that had been allotted to Gonsalves by doctors. Deputies also discovered 75-100 pounds of dried marijuana material. Several pounds of the marijuana appeared to be packaged for distribution either in one pound bulk, or in smaller quantities in glass jars with the strain name printed on a label. The estimated value of the dried marijuana is roughly $25,000 with another $150,000 in plants found on the property.
Gonsalves said he was growing marijuana for a friend out of state but upon investigation, deputies discovered the other person’s medical card still did not account for the high quantities found, much of it hidden, on the property. Gonsalves told deputies he moved from Connecticut to the Pueblo area in 2014 to start a marijuana grow business. Gonsalves could not provide the necessary documentation to prove he was a licensed marijuana caregiver, which put the amount of marijuana plants found in his home far beyond Colorado’s felony charges threshold.
In addition, three firearms were discovered in the residence. Gonsalves was arrested for Possession w/ the Intent to Manufacture (50lbs or more) and Marijuana Cultivation (more than 30 plants), both are felony charges. A $5,000 bond has been set.