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Man arrested after marijuana plant found growing in his bathtub

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

Brandon Newman Hope, 33, was arrested on February 21 after the State Attorney filed a charge of manufacturing cannabis that was related to an incident at his apartment on August 16, 2021.

Gainesville Police Department (GPD) officers were called to Windsor Terrace apartments on SW 20th Avenue at 4:35 p.m. on August 16, in reference to a call about an armed disturbance. Hope had reportedly been arguing with the victim over several days; on the date that GPD was called, the victim said Hope had told him to come outside, where Hope then allegedly produced a handgun, pulled a magazine out of his pocket, loaded the gun, racked the slide, and put the gun against the side of the victim’s head. Hope allegedly continued to wave the gun in the victim’s face and say, “I’ll kill you.” Hope then backed away toward his apartment and retreated inside.

The incident was observed by several witnesses, but most wanted to remain anonymous. One witness said he heard the argument and heard the victim scream, “He’s got a gun!” That witness also said he saw Hope pointing a handgun at the victim.

Hope was arrested at the scene and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Post Miranda, he reportedly said he was joking around with the victim, who approached him aggressively and backed him into a corner. Hope reportedly said he felt threatened and pulled his handgun out of his backpack. He said the gun was not loaded, but he racked the slide.

Officers swept the apartment for additional threats and reportedly saw a trash can in Hope’s apartment that “appeared to be used to maintain an indoor garden of some sort.” They also saw a cannabis plant about 3 feet tall in the bathtub.

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The officers got a search warrant and went back to the apartment. They reported finding the handgun and the large cannabis plant. They also reported finding a trash can that contained a UV light and fans with a timer attached in Hope’s closet. Post Miranda, Hope reportedly denied knowing anything about the cannabis plant or the trash can used to grow it.

The aggravated assault charge was dropped on February 15, and a formal charge of producing cannabis was filed on February 16. Another initial charge of maintaining a drug dwelling was also dropped. Hope posted $5,000 bail on the charge of producing cannabis and was released with the condition that he not possess, use, or produce illegal drugs.

Articles about arrests are based on reports from law enforcement agencies. The charges listed are taken from the arrest report and/or court records and are only accusations. All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

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