Miramar Fire-Rescue worker, spouse face charges for growing marijuana in house

By Andrew Ryan
Staff Writer
Posted July 29 2005

Police arrested a Miramar Fire-Rescue secretary and her husband Wednesday night after officers searched their home and found 68 marijuana plants and 10 pounds of the drug stuffed into bags, according to an arrest affidavit.

The secretary, Jean Marie Lema-Hill, 35, and her husband, John Lee Jill, 42, face charges of trafficking and cultivating cannabis, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Miramar Division Chief Joe Cabrera declined to comment on the specific allegations, but said: "I think the department has been proactive by placing the individual on administrative leave with pay."

Lema-Hill has worked for the city for a few years and was transferred to fire-rescue from another city department, Cabrera said.

The couple were arrested at their home on the 4300 block of Southwest 43rd Avenue in Davie just before 10 p.m. In addition to the marijuana, police also found more than $500 in cash and a grow light, the affidavit says.

In February, DEA agents arrested Lt. Carey Kovacs, 29; Capt. Valetin Srbovan, 37; and Charles Dixon, 33, a recent graduate of the fire academy, on charges of possessing and selling Ecstasy, cocaine and other drugs.

At the time, Miramar Chief James Hunt quickly condemned any drug use and suspended six more firefighters with pay in conjunction with an internal investigation.

Cabrera declined to comment on the developments of the February case.

If convicted, Lema-Hill and her husband could face up to 15 years in prison and fines of $35,000.

Staff Writer Andrew Ryan can be reached at aryan@sun-sentinel.com or 954-385-7922.