Peabody police uncover intricate marijuana-growing operation at local residence

Peabody police discovered an intricate marijuana-growing operation in a home, irrigation system and specialized lighting, after a domestic abuse investigation led them into the house, authorities said Sunday.

Investigators were serving a search warrant related to a domestic disturbance at the Ayer Street home when they uncovered the complex growing operation. Residents had turned bedrooms into marijuana greenhouses with specialized light fixtures and intricate irrigation systems, according to a police statement.

Authorities confiscated 165 plants, which were in various stages of growth, as well as the growing equipment, the statement said.

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Police called the operation “sophisticated,” noting that although voters decriminalized possessing under an ounce of marijuana, cultivating and distributing the drug calls for criminal charges as well as hefty fines.

There have been arrests or charges filed in connection with the marijuana growing. But police arrested David Antonuccio, 35, on charges of domestic assault and battery, assault with a dangerous weapon, and malicious destruction of property.

Peabody police said their narcotics detectives were investigating the marijuana-growing operation.