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Marijuana growers hide $7 million operation in quiet suburban houses

HALL COUNTY, Ga. — An undercover drug task force in Hall County busted a sophisticated marijuana growing operation in six different neighborhoods between Gainesville, Flowery Branch and Hoschton, WGCL reports.

Neighbors told WGCL they suspected nothing.

In all, more than 1,500 plants and 300 pounds of processed marijuana were seized, totaling about $7 million.

The operation has been going for years, but police didn’t catch on until they received an anonymous tip from someone who noticed suspicious activity. That led police to begin an undercover surveillance operation on a house along Ashford Way in Gainesville.

From there, police realized the operation was a family affair, and the rest of the houses fell like dominoes.

All the accused growers are originally from Vietnam and they are in the country legally.

With blinds shut tight, police say the outsides of the homes were landscaped and blended in, while the insides were filled from wall to wall with plants growing under lights.

Investigators say growers use big houses like these because there’s generally more space between neighbors, more room inside to fit plants and it’s less suspicious when a bigger house is using more electricity.

One of the grow houses was located on Lake Lanier, where many of the neighboring properties are vacation homes or summer rentals.