BROOKLYN - Police say high utility bills helped lead them to a large-scale marijuana ring in Gerritsen Beach.

Five men, who are accused of operating a marijuana ring for 12 years in the borough, were arraigned Tuesday in downtown Brooklyn. Authorities say they raided six locations in and around Gerritsen Beach where they found hydroponic marijuana, which is a highly potent strain that doesn't need soil to grow. Hydroponic marijuana is known to have a street value of up to $5,000 per pound.

Authorities say Con Edison bills 10 times the normal amount helped tip them off about the grow houses.