SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

September 23, 2013

Police find pot 'grow'

By Jonathan Phelps
Staff writer

---- — PEABODY — Police uncovered a “very substantial” marijuana-growing operation Friday afternoon after being called to a home on Ayer Street, police said.

A search warrant was executed at 9 Ayer St. at 3:51 p.m. by Peabody detectives and patrolman “as a result of an investigation into a domestic disturbance.”

“The operation uncovered a very substantial Marijuana Grow inside of the residence,” a press release from the department read. “Bedrooms within the dwelling were converted into a sophisticated environment to cultivate marijuana.”

Police seized 165 plants in various stages of growth. They also removed fertilizers, specialized lighting fixtures and an intricate irrigation system, according to the release.

In relation to the domestic incident, David Antonuccio, 35, was arrested on charges of domestic assault and battery, assault with a dangerous weapon, malicious destruction of property.

As of last night, no one has been charged in connection with the alleged drug operation.

“Law Enforcement agencies throughout the country have experienced an increase in dealing with these problematic ‘grows,’ possibly due to the decriminalization (civil fine) of possessing an ounce or less of the drug. However any cultivation and distribution still carry criminal penalties and monetary fines,” the release said.

Peabody narcotic detectives David Murphy and Eric Ricci are leading the ongoing investigation, assisted by Peabody Patrolman Daniel Jenkins. The Massachusetts State Police Crime Scene Unit assisted with processing the scene.

Staff writer Jonathan Phelps can be reached at 978-338-2527 or by email at jphelps@salemnews.com. Follow him on Twitter at JPhelps_SN.