The Tucker Family
Garden supply store owners
Conspiracy to manufacture marijuana;
Conspiracy to "knowingly know" others are growing
Steve (with moustache) and Gary (with beard) visit with
their brother Kenny and mother, Doris.
Right: Joanne Tucker, wife of Gary.
Gary Tucker, serving 10 years
Steve Tucker, serving 10 years
Joanne Tucker, serving 10 years, 1
Gary died in prison just
before his release in 2002.
Inadequate medical attention in prison contributed to his
By July, 1992, the DEA was involved in Operation Green
Merchant, a campaign to eradicate indoor marijuana
cultivation across the USA. Their targets were hydroponics
stores and their customers all over the country. They would
copy down the license plate numbers of customers, follow and
spy on them, steal their garbage, and subpoena utility bills
to check electrical usage, among other tactics in their
effort to catch and arrest people.
Out of Operation Green Merchant grew Operation
Triox. This time their target was a small, hydroponics
store called Southern Lights and Hydroponics, Inc. in
Norcross, Georgia. The owner, Gary Tucker, was approached by
the DEA to put cameras in this store to secretly film all of
his customers. His refusal to cooperate led to a promise to
shut him down. The feds did more than that before they were
Gary Tucker, his wife Joanne, and his brother Steven,
were convicted of conspiracy to manufacture marijuana
based on the offenses of a few of their customers, with
whom they had no contact beyond selling equipment which
is completely legal.
The Tuckers had no marijuana, none on their
person, none in their homes, none in their store. Nor did
they have any drug paraphernalia. They were never caught
selling drugs or buying drugs.
When history looks back
What is happening in my country I did not
want; I did not ask for it. The Great Father in Washington
spoke to his children, and they set their dog-soldiers
against us. They acted as though they had neither heads nor
I lived peacefully and took care of my
children. I committed ill acts toward no man. But they say
we are bad. They took our homes and our lands that belonged
to our fathers and their fathers before them. We did not
wish to give even a part of it to the Great Father.
The soldiers frightened our women and
children. They took us from our children and put us in their
prisons. Our old women wept and I thought I should cry, but
then I remembered that I was a man. Our dreams died, and my
heart was heavy; there was no hope and it seemed the Great
Spirit had forgotten us. I am tired; my heart is sick and
Hear me, my friends, these are my words.
When history looks back upon these bitter times it will say:
'This Drug War is wrong.' We are not dogs, we are men, and
from where the sun stands, we will fight forever.
-- Steve Tucker, Drug War