Pubdate: Wed, 09 Feb 2005
Source: Fort Pierce Tribune (FL)
Copyright: 2005 The E.W. Scripps Co.
Author: Will Greenlee, Staff Writer
Bookmark: (Cannabis)


PORT ST. LUCIE -- A local lawyer said he was growing orchids, but St.
Lucie County sheriff's investigators smelled something different: marijuana.

Richard Thomas Kozek, admitted to the Florida Bar in November 1991,
was growing marijuana in his house and in shipping containers outside,
according to Sheriff Ken Mascara and records obtained Tuesday.

Investigators found more than 40 plants, more than 20 pounds of
marijuana, two loaded handguns and a variety of growing equipment at
the home in the 7500 block of Bobcat Run.

Investigators went to the home after receiving a tip that Kozek, who
remains at large, was cultivating marijuana in the rented residence,
east of U.S. 1 near Prima Vista Boulevard.

Investigators smelled marijuana when they pulled up and also noted a
"very strong odor" of the drug coming through the open front door.

Kozek came to the door after the deputies knocked, immediately
stepping outside and shutting the door behind him.

"He said he only grew orchids and he didn't know why they were there,"
Mascara said.

Kozek refused to allow deputies to look inside the home without a
search warrant. Kozek left as investigators obtained the warrant,
indicating he was taking his dog to a kennel but would return shortly.

"He never came back," Mascara said.

Mascara said deputies didn't follow him, because "that would probably
have been unconstitutional."

Investigators the next day got warrants for Kozek's arrest.
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