GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Officials executed a large drug and gun operation in metro Atlanta.
Law enforcement told Channel 2 Action News that 18 homes were raided simultaneously early Wednesday morning.
Channel 2's Tony Thomas was there as one home on Five Forks Trickum Road in Gwinnett County was raided.
In the usually quiet neighborhood, the house police raided doesn't stand out any more than the others.
“You really don't know who lives around you,” neighbor Joanna Manzano told Thomas.
Authorities say they found 310 marijuana plants in the basement of the home. Thomas watched as investigators spread them out across the lawn.
The house was just one of the 18 that were raided across Gwinnett County.
“Some were grow houses and some were stash houses,” Gwinnett County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Lou Solis said.
The grow houses are where authorities say a ring not only grew plants but packaged them as well.
Investigators piled the stash in the front yard.
“All I heard was boom, boom. ‘Come out, we've got a warrant,’” neighbor Phil Henry said.
Teams hit all the houses at the same time Wednesday morning, then spent the day loading large bags of marijuana plants, one by one, into large trailers.
Inside another house on Arnold Road outside of Lilburn, the basement was full of plants.
Investigators took pictures of the large electrical system that was installed and specialized air vents.
“The kitchen was used where they were actually bagging some of it. The bathroom was the irrigation point,” Solis said.
At least seven people were arrested following the raid. Investigators said children were in two of the homes when SWAT teams moved in.
Investigators told Thomas they aren't sure if the ring operates solely in that area or if it was one branch of a much larger operation.
Authorities said they seized more than 2,500 plants in total, as well as cash.
"We had close to $250,000 in cash," Solis said. "In one of the bedrooms, we found more than $100,000 in cash."
Cox Media Group