Fla. Cops Hold Pot Plants Hostage, Leave Ransom Note for "Dumbest" Grower

(Monroe County Sheriffs Office)
(Monroe County Sheriffs Office)
(Monroe County Sheriffs Office)
MARATHON, Fla. (CBS/AP) A pot grower in the Florida Keys apparently had such a craving for his missing marijuana plants, that he fell for a police plot even they didn't think would work!

Detectives in Marathon, Florida say they left a ransom note for Steven Locasio, 48, after seizing six of his large marijuana plants on Jan. 4. To the cops' surprise, Locasio actually called back to negotiate a price.

The note left by police read: ``Thanks for the grow! You want them back? Call for the price . . . We'll talk.''

Photo: Ransom note that undercover detectives left for pot growers.

Monroe County Sheriff's Col. Rick Ramsay said that undercover detectives, following up on a tip about marijuana plants growing in a wooded lot, found six large plants but were unable to trace ownership. As a last ditch, and half-joking, effort to smoke out the grower they left the ransom note where the plants used to be.

Photo: Steven Locasio and his wife Christine Locasio.

Col. Ramsay said the detectives never expected anything to come of it but ten minutes later their phone rang – it was the alleged grower, Mr. Locasio.

Photo: Drugs seized by Monroe County Sheriff's detectives.

Locasio bargained the undercover detectives down to a price of $200 dollars for all six plants and arranged a meeting place, but when he handed the money to the cops, he got handcuffs instead of kind bud.

``He's got to win one of America's dumbest criminal awards,'' Col. Ramsay said."The plants were worth about $1,000 each. So he probably thought it was a good deal.''

A search warrant was then obtained for Locasio's apartment. The search turned up 20 more marijuana plants, four pounds of freshly harvested marijuana and several 80 milligram Oxycontin pills, according to police. They also seized $1,380 in cash – suspected proceeds from drug sales.

Locasio and his wife, 50-year-old Christine Locasio, were both charged with cultivation of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and sale of marijuana, and booked into the county jail.