Miami native siblings Luis Hernandez-Gonzalez, 44, and Salma Hernandez, 32, have recently become victims of the largest drug bust in Miami-Dade police history.
According to Daily Mail, police seized $24 million in cash and drugs that was stashed in hot-sealed Home Depots buckets and stashed in 24 orange 5-gallon Home Depot-brand buckets of a hidden room in their Miami home. The room was guarded by a hallway statuette of St. Lazarus, a Catholic saint popular in Cuba, reports the Miami Herald.
Luis Hernandez-Gonzalez owned and operated a gardening store called the Blossom Experience, which police believe was a front for the large-scale marijuana peddling operation, mostly to clients in Tennessee.
His attorney, Frank Gaviria, believes that police preemptively arrested his client.
“My understanding is that he ran a very successful hydroponics supply store, which in of itself is lawful.”
Gonzalez is now being held on a $4 million bond that can only be paid with clean money and is being hit with a slew of charges including money laundering, marijuana trafficking and possession of a firearm while committing a felony, according to the Herald. His sister, who also works for the Blossom Experience, was arrested and charged as well.
Gonzalez was first investigated back in 2010 when he discussed his business with an informant, who the informant claims Gonzalez undercut his competitors by selling equipment cheaply, then bought top notch marijuana for good prices from his own customers and sold it himself at high profit. On one occasion, the informant, whose a weed head himself, sold a 101 pounds of marijuana to Hernandez-Gonzalez at the store.
The DEA did not arrest him then because they didn’t have a strong enough case. The law always baffles me.
Miami-Dade police will likely now take ownership of the money through civil forfeiture laws, while the feds could seize with his 5-bedroom, 2-story Miami Lakes house.
[h/t Daily Mail]