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Authorities discover alleged grow houses

Three face charges in unrelated incidents

POSTED: September 7, 2011 4:00 a.m.

For the second time in less than a week, investigators shut down a suspected indoor marijuana-growing operation in western Dawson County.

Dawson County Sheriff's Capt. Tony Wooten said the two busts, which resulted in three arrests, were unrelated.

In Friday's incident, 62-year-old Edward Vincent Gunn was arrested following a search of his Joe Chester Road home.

Wooten said authorities had received a tip that Gunn was reportedly growing marijuana in a "dugout, dirt basement below his cabin."

"We found nine plants and seized $1,500," Wooten said. "We believe he was growing the marijuana for his personal use."

Gunn, who was charged with manufacturing marijuana, was released Saturday from the Dawson County jail after posting a $10,000 bond.

Earlier last week, authorities charged two people with manufacturing marijuana after searching an Angel Drive home.

Equipment for an indoor marijuana-growing operation was discovered behind a false wall in the basement.

Darius Marcel Ciupeiu, 42, and Stephanie Kelly O'Block, 26 of Ellijay, were also each charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and tampering with evidence.

They remain in custody without bond.

The two suspects were arrested after a Dawsonville man reported he had been shot while attempting to steal marijuana from Ciupeiu's property.

Ciupeiu also faces charges of aggravated assault and possession of a firearm in committing a crime.

Investigators are still trying to find the .38-caliber handgun reportedly used in the shooting.

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