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FBI Tears Down The Walls In A Suspect’s Home Before Their Worst Fears Are Finally Confirmed

Starting a small business is no easy feat. Keeping it running long enough so that it can actually start earning a profit and support the owner is nothing to sneeze at, either!

But some small business owners aren’t always patient enough to wait for their windfall. Some will look for any way imaginable to cut corners, even if it means breaking the law in the process…

Luis Hernandez-Gonzalez, a businessman from North Miami, owned a small business called Blossom Experience where he sold indoor gardening equipment. 

Green Book Pages

Luis lived in a five-bedroom home in Miami Lakes, located within a gated community. He purchased the plot of land ten years ago and built his dream home from scratch, so business must have been doing well.

Google Maps

So what was the FBI doing in his home and how did they end up there? It’s a good question with a surprising answer. It turns out that “flowers” weren’t the real reason Luis was doing so well…

Miami-Dade Police Department

In 2016, the FBI started to take notice of Luis. For a small business owner, he was certainly raking in the big bucks. That’s when they started investigating Luis and his business and discovered something truly shocking… 

The FBI discovered that Blossom Experience wasn’t making bank whipping up pretty birthday bouquets. They sold gardening equipment to marijuana farmers! But that was just the beginning.

Miami-Dade Police Department

Luis also bought marijuana from his customers and resold it in smaller amounts for profit himself! The DEA obtained a search warrant and swept Blossom Experience. There they found a safe which contained $180,000 of cash and two strains of marijuana labeled “Chernobyl” and “Super Skunk.”

Dan Pelle / The Spokesperson Review

 They then moved the investigation to his home where they found something incredibly odd behind his walls: a secret room in his attic. It was hidden behind a trap door and concealed by fiberglass.

Miami-Dad Police Department

Upon gaining entrance, they discovered bottles of steroids, a loaded gun, and 24 heat-sealed buckets. The police proceeded with caution – those buckets could have been dangerous.

Miami-Dade Police Department

After making sure it was safe, the police opened them to find several hundred thousand dollars. The stacks of fresh bills were taken from the scene to the Miami police department for counting.

Miami-Dade Police Department

They counted each bundle of $100 bills. The tally was in: A total of $24 million in cash had been confiscated that day. That’s a lot of money for a humble florist! 

Miami-Dade Police

Hernandez-Gonzalez was arrested and charged with counts of money laundering, drug trafficking, and possession of drugs.

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He was held on $4 million bail, a huge sum, but one that the judge saw necessary in such a major drug case. Luis would spend the two years his trial took in jail. 

Miami-Dade Police Department

But eventually, the justice system gave him an answer. Despite having multiple counts of drug-related crimes against him, it wasn’t his involvement with the marijuana trade that landed him behind bars…

In April of 2018, the sentence in his case was finally delivered. The judge gave Luis five years… for his involvement with money laundering!

It was stated at the trial, “He knew who his customers were. He wasn’t selling to abuelitas in Hialeah who were growing lettuce and tomatoes,” remarked the judge slyly. 

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Luis might have thought his money laundering scheme was clever, but the prosecutors in the case were able to identify the unusual deposits he made to his bank account and that’s how he was truly caught. 

The Judge was very clear that he was not sentencing Hernandez-Gonzalez for marijuana, but for his financial crimes against the government. 

His defense lawyers were disappointed as they tried to showcase him as a “brilliant businessman.” He had no choice but to finagle the system because banks wouldn’t accept cash from a business associated with marijuana sales.

Diane Bondareff / AP Images

Lawyers acknowledged that he wasn’t naive to what he was doing, but compared him to, “[someone] who sold mining equipment to the Gold Rush miners.”

KPBS, Miami-Dade Police Department

Luis’s defense lawyers ended the case with this statement: “He was a victim of his own success. He made so much money. So much of it was cash that he couldn’t end up putting it into the banks.”

Miami-Dade Police Department

For Hernandez-Gonzalez, his downfall was trying to hide the amount of money he made. Instead of using buckets, maybe he should’ve just stuck to a good ol’ fashioned mattress.

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