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Domestic dispute leads cops to 87 marijuana plants

SNELLVILLE -- An early-morning domestic dispute led police to an extensive marijuana operation not seen in Snellville in years.

At about 5 a.m. on Sunday, Snellville Police officers found 87 marijuana plants, smoking pipes, heating lamps, soil and digital scales at 1868 Mornington Lane in Snellville. They arrested Russell Littlejohn, 34, and charged him with battery and marijuana possession with intent to distribute, said Snellville Police senior investigator Orlando Concepcion.

Officers found Littlejohn hiding in bushes outside the house, and smelled the odor of marijuana coming from the garage area, Concepcion said.

Concepcion said an arrest warrant was obtained for Erica Shapiro, 27, Tuesday morning after she was charged with marijuana possession. Concepcion said Shapiro, who had visible injuries, told officers she moved in the rented house about a week ago after they became a couple about two months.

Concepcion said there wasn't a known history of incidents at the home, and there wasn't abnormal traffic in the area.

"No one had an idea," he said. "They kept it pretty quiet, and she gave it away by calling the police for a domestic."

Concepcion said Snellville Police have worked grow houses like this one in recent years, but most weren't as sophisticated.

Shapiro was not in custody, but Littlejohn was listed in the Gwinnett jail on Tuesday evening.