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The investigation led to the seizure of 52.2 pounds of methamphetamine with a street value of over $2.6 million; 6.9 pounds of cocaine with a street value at $392,000; currency exceeding $22,000; and 10 firearms, according to a press release from the BCSO.
Valencia is charged with trafficking cocaine; trafficking methamphetamine and possession of marijuana. Mendez is charged with trafficking cocaine; trafficking methamphetamine; possession of firearm during commission of a felony; theft by receiving stolen property; obstruction of law enforcement officer; possession of marijuana; and driving without a valid license.
“We are accustomed to large quantities of drugs passing through our jurisdiction by way of the interstate,” said Sheriff Carlton Speed, “However, this is a unique case because the Cartel essentially set up shop in Banks County.”
Speed added he was “very proud” of the deputies’ “tenacious and exhausting investigation.”
“Without their thoroughness and attention to detail, these drugs would have already hit the streets of Banks County and north Georgia,” he said.
Investigators contacted federal ICE agents and a detainer has been placed on Mendez. The sheriff’s office requested DEA-HIDTA for additional assistance in this on-going investigation.