A family in Cypress is getting their money back after unknowingly moving into a home that was used as a marijuana grow house.
Drug Enforcement Agency officers raided the home on Aug. 21 and confiscated 440 marijuana plants. The home was part of a large ring of grow houses found around the Houston area.
"We never would have dreamed there was an organized crime ring growing marijuana here," said Christy Edgel, who leased the home after moving to the town with her husband and children from Utah.
The mother of four became suspicious after seeing mold in different parts of the house.
"I would assume if you pull this back up there is going to be mold here. It almost looks like they have come in and scrapped away what they could see, but it is not gone," said Edgel.
She said she thinks the mold inside the home was making her 2-year-old sick.
"I was in tears last night, worried about her safety and they are not going to sleep here anymore," Edgel said while pointing to mold in what was to be her little girl's room.
"The neighbor told my husband that some people had been growing pot here, but we assumed it was a couple of hippies. We didn't think it was anything to the degree that is was and didn't even think it could be dangerous," Edgel said.
"I was concerned because when I saw them get the house ready afterwards and I saw them clean the carpets but not pull it out. I didn't see them pull any Sheetrock out, so I figured they were going to have mold or some type of issues," said neighbor Mark Prause.
Edgel said they paid a $2,000 deposit plus $2,000 for the first month's rent to lease the home. Originally the homeowner was only going to refund the deposit.
"We were able to get the homeowner to agree to a full refund to the tenant. Our firm will not be involved in any future leasing of this property," said Trish Ferrier of First Class Management.
Edgel said the homeowner also agreed to pay for any decontamination to their furniture and things they already moved into the home.
Landlords or sellers don't have to disclose if a home was used as a marijuana grow house, according to Texas property code.
"I would love for there to be some type of protocol in place so when you lease a home it is inspected appropriately so people know what they are getting into. I care that other people aren't going to come into this house and experience the same thing we did," said Edgel.