Police: 80 marijuana plants found growing in Holtsville home

Police shut down a sophisticated marijuana grow house operation in a high-end Holtsville home. According to police, they found 80 marijuana plants growing in the

Police arrested 45-year old Rolando Portal, a registered nurse, early this morning

Police arrested 45-year old Rolando Portal, a registered nurse, early this morning (2/17/17)

HOLTSVILLE - A Holtsville man is accused of running a sophisticated marijuana grow operation out of the basement of a Holtsville home.

Police say they found 80 marijuana plants growing inside the basement of a home on Frances Boulevard in Holtsville.

Police arrested 45-year old Rolando Portal, a registered nurse, early this morning after also allegedly finding 500 oxycodone pills, 500 prescription Xanax pills, heroin, $8,000 in cash, and a loaded shotgun. Detectives estimate Portal was making $30,000 a month in profits dealing drugs in the Coram and Holtsville area. They called it a sophisticated marijuana grow operation complete with energy-efficient LED lights and filtration systems.

“It's a lot of plants for a grow house,” says Suffolk Police 1st Deputy Commissioner John Barry. “He had them in a lot of different stages, so there were some real baby plants, and then there were some mature plants it seemed that they were harvesting.”

Portal's parents live next door, and his mother told News 12 Long Island that her son is dying of nose and throat cancer and was only growing a few pot plants for medical reasons.

“I never go inside, I never go downstairs,” she said.

Police say Portal did not sell the drugs out of the house but would drive them to other locations. Police say they're also still investigating whether Portal's job as a registered nurse has any connection to the source of the prescription pills. 

He will be arraigned Saturday on various drug charges. 

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