Top row: Aiqiu Luo (from left), Bui Men, Duy Nguyen, Jia Zhao and Jin Huang. Middle row: Jun Huang, Linlin Teng, Man Lam, Michael Luong and Phuong Tran. Bottom row: Shy Yong, Terry Liu, Tommy Luong, Tuyen Pham, Vuong Luu and Xinde Li.
Photo: Gwinnett County Police Department
Photo: Gwinnett County Police Department

16 arrested in $35M pot bust in 3 metro Atlanta counties

A five-month investigation led to $35 million worth of marijuana being seized and 16 people being arrested across three metro Atlanta counties, authorities said Wednesday.

Five large grow houses were raided Thursday in Clayton, Gwinnett and Henry counties, Gwinnett County police said in a news release. The houses were embedded in the community and “no one would have suspected” they harbored large drug operations, police said in a news release.

Each home averaged between 340 and 1,500 pot plants and contained sophisticated equipment to manufacture high-grade marijuana, the release said. The 8,500-square-foot grow house in the 6000 block of Williams Road was the largest one busted.

A total of 3,174 marijuana plants were seized across five metro Atlanta grow houses, police said.
Photo: Gwinnett County Police Department

The other locations were in the 700 block of Bartow Drive in Dacula, 400 block of Hastings Way in Jonesboro, 2200 block of South Ola Road in Locust Grove and 1500 block of Pine Circle in Lawrenceville, the release said.

A total of 3,174 plants were seized in addition to THC candies, THC oil, cocaine, illegal mushrooms, 22 firearms, more than $676,000 in cash and six vehicles, the release said. The estimated street value of the drugs seized was about $35 million.

Police also confiscated several other items, including 22 firearms and $676,000 in cash.
Photo: Gwinnett County Police Department

The suspects are accused of belonging to two large drug trafficking organizations that were sending drugs across the Southeast, the release said.

Here are the 16 people who were arrested and the charges they face:

• Aiqiu Luo, 39, Norcross, possession, manufacture, distribution or sale of controlled substances or marijuana;

• Bui Men, 52, Dacula, possession, manufacture, distribution or sale of controlled substances or marijuana;

• Duy Nguyen, 26, Lilburn, possession of marijuana;

• Jia Zhao, 42, Duluth, two counts of possession of a Schedule I controlled substance, one count of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and one count of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony;

• Jin Huang, 45, Lilburn, trafficking of marijuana and attempt or conspiracy to violate the Georgia Controlled Substance Act;

• Jun Huang, 42, Lilburn, two counts of possession of a Schedule II controlled substance, one count of possession of a Schedule I or II controlled substance with the intent to distribute and one count of possession of a Schedule II, IV or V controlled substance with the intent to distribute;

• Linlin Teng, 30, Lawrenceville, attempt or conspiracy to violate the Georgia Controlled Substance Act;

• Man Lam, 34, Duluth, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute;

• Michael Luong, 27, Tucker, possession of a Schedule I controlled substance and possession of a Schedule I or II controlled substance with the intent to distribute;

• Phuong Tran, 54, Lawrenceville, trafficking in marijuana and attempt or conspiracy to violate the Georgia Controlled Substance Act;

• Shy Yong, 37, Lilburn, possession of marijuana;

• Terry Liu, 32, Duluth, attempt or conspiracy to violate the Georgia Controlled Substance Act;

• Tommy Luong, 31, Tucker, attempt or conspiracy to violate the Georgia Controlled Substance Act;

• Tuyen Pham, 48, Snellville, attempt or conspiracy to violate the Georgia Controlled Substance Act;

• Vuong Luu, 54, Jonesboro, attempt or conspiracy to violate the Georgia Controlled Substance Act;

• Xinde Li, 41, Lawrenceville, possession, manufacture, distribution or sale of controlled substances or marijuana.

The investigation was conducted by the Gwinnett County Police Department along with the Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office, Gwinnett Metro Drug Task Force, FBI, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and several other local and federal agencies.

In other news:

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