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Men indicted on marijuana charges

LAWRENCEVILLE - A Gwinnett County grand jury has indicted three men on charges of manufacturing marijuana, the first indictment in Gwinnett related to the sophisticated grow houses discovered in the county and metro Atlanta.

Sergio Agramonte, Javier Agramonte and Sergio Machena Agramonte, were indicted on two counts of manufacturing marijuana, possession of marijuana, theft by receiving stolen property and trafficking marijuana.

The grand jury also indicted Jovon Nicholson of Duluth on two counts of murder and armed robbery. Separately, Joseph Andrew Smith and Marco Danyel McIlwain of Dacula were indicted on murder and aggravated assault charges.

The Agramontes are wanted in connection with a drug-trafficking ring, which grew marijuana in basements of big homes in the area. Fayette County Sheriff's Office arrested two men in February, who they say were the ring leaders. That arrest lead to an investigation into more than 70 metro Atlanta homes, including 20 in Gwinnett, where potent marijuana was grown indoors, under special lights, without soil.

The three men are believed to be in Florida, Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter said.

"In order to extradite, it is easier to do it on an indictment then on an arrest warrant," Porter said. The district attorney said other grow-house indictments should follow very quickly in the coming weeks.

Smith and Andrew are accused of shooting Jimmy "Lee" West, a Dacula man who was a father of two, in February.

Nicholson was among three 16-year-old boys who were arrested in August in a fatal shooting at a Norcross apartment and more than a dozen other armed robberies targeting Hispanics in that area.