0

Man indicted in grow house ring

hue.ha@gwinnettdailypost

LAWRENCEVILLE - A grand jury indicted a Bethlehem man on charges of manufacturing marijuana, the fourth indictment in Gwinnett in the grow-house trafficking ring.

Luciano Perez-Garcia was arrested in Bethlehem at a home on Shoal Trail Drive, where he is listed as the owner of the property.

Authorities alleged Perez-Garcia was part of a drug-trafficking ring, which grew marijuana in the basements of big homes in metro Atlanta, including 20 houses in Gwinnett County. Police have raided 13 addresses and are investigating seven other suspected grow houses where police say high-potency marijuana was grown indoors without soil using irrigation systems in insulated basements under special lights.

Perez-Garcia was indicted on charges of manufacturing marijuana, possession of tools for the commission of crime and theft of services.

The tools in his possession when he was arrested March 7 were "ballasts, carbon air filters, heat shields and carbon dioxide generators," the indictment said.

The theft of service is electricity from Walton EMC, valued at $1,800. The grow houses used about 10 times the electricity as a normal home, and operators had tapped directly into power lines, bypassing the power company's meter and detection.

Earlier this month, the grand jury indicted three men: Sergio Agramonte, Javier Agramonte and Sergio Machena Agramonte. The three, who remain at large, were charged with manufacturing marijuana, possession of marijuana, trafficking marijuana and theft by receiving stolen property.