3 indicted on marijuana trafficking charges after ‘grow house’ found in Canton


Three people have been indicted for allegedly growing and trafficking marijuana, less than three months after police found hundreds of plants in an upscale Canton home.

A Cherokee County grand jury indicted Carlos Gerardo Suarez-Diaz, Maria De La Luz Chavez-Hinojoza and Francisco Rivera Diaz last week, according to documents provided by the Cherokee Superior Court on Tuesday.

The indictments charged the suspects with marijuana trafficking and marijuana manufacturing. Suarez-Diaz and Chavez-Hinojoza were also charged with theft of services, and Suarez-Diaz was charged with escaping from police custody, obstructing an officer and criminal trespassing.

Suarez-Diaz and Chavez-Hinojoza were held without bond. Diaz had not been arrested as of Tuesday morning.

Authorities stumbled upon the massive marijuana grow house off Gold Mill Ridge on June 29, according to the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office. They found about 287 pot plants worth an estimated $1.29 million, officials said.

At the time, only Suarez-Diaz, 36, was arrested, following a short chase through the neighborhood, according to the sheriff’s office. He then allegedly slipped out of one handcuff and tried to run away again.

A Cherokee Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad official said in June that the marijuana was likely being shipped out of state.

According to the indictment, the three suspects allegedly stole electrical power from Georgia Power valued at more than $25,000. Prosecutors said Suarez-Diaz damaged a power wire by attaching it to another.

In a separate indictment, two other suspects, Karla Romero and Carlos Valencia, were charged with possession with intent to distribute marijuana in connection with the incident. They were each released on $11,200 bond.

Chavez-Hinojoza was also charged with identity fraud and giving false information to a police officer.

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