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Sheriff's Deputies Arrest Second Man in Fatal Meth House Fire

Joseph Perez was arrested while deputies searched for prime suspect Ivan Gonzalez.

The Gwinnett Sheriff's Department has arrested a second man believed to be involved in the Feb. 17 house fire in Lilburn that killed three young children.

The fire at 1197 Spring Mill Drive in Lilburn was determined to be fueled by chemicals used in the production of methamphetamine. Gwinnett Police have charged Ivan Gonzalez with three counts of murder, as well as arson and drug trafficking in that case. Police are still looking for Gonzalez.

The Sheriff's Department's Fugitive Unit deputies arrested Joseph Perez Wednesday night. Deputies say Perez was at the scene of the fire.

Perez has been charged with trafficking in methamphetamine and is being held at the Gwinnett County Jail without bond, according to Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer Stacey Bourbonnais.

Bourbonnais said that the arrest came after an interview with Perez while deputies were searching for Gonzalez, who Gwinnett Police say may be headed to Mexico.

Deputies learned that Gwinnett Police had “received a name of Joe Perez and nothing further as being someone who was present at the time of the fire,” according to Bourbonnais.

Based on a photo lineup that identified Perez as being at the scene, Fugitive Unit deputies arrested Perez at his address in College Park.

Meanwhile, the mother of the three children killed in the fire appeared before a Magistrate Court judge Thursday morning. According to a Gwinnett Daily Post report, Neibi Brito, has been denied bond on charges of trafficking in methamphetamine. The case has been bound over to Superior Court.

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