ELLIJAY - Gilmer County authorities are investigating to find out if a marijuana grow operation they discovered Monday has ties to a Mexican drug cartel.
Officials with the Gilmer County Sheriff's Office said they discovered 200 pot plants in the basement of a home on Talona Lake Terrace while executing a search warrant that was not drug related.
They said the resident of the home, 37-year-old Ernesto Segui, is being held in the Gilmer County Detention Center and is believed to be a Cuban national.
Gilmer County Sheriff Stacy Nicholson said he does believe the grow operation was affiliated with a Mexican cartel, which he said is infiltrating rural North Georgia communities.
Authorities said the street value of the drugs is approximately $500,000.