“Our streets are safer with these serious offenders off them," said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates in a released statement. "The arrests also serve as a valuable reminder to those who might use their seemingly legitimate businesses to support narco-traffickers. You are not above the law. You will be prosecuted.”
According to a press release from the United States Attorney's Office, the charges were the result of a months-long investigation by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Strike Force, of which the LPD is a part.
In July, 11 individuals were charged with various drug offenses including conspiring to traffic over five kilograms of cocaine and substantive drug trafficking charges. A criminal complaint was issued against a twelfth individual charging him with conspiring to traffic over five kilograms of cocaine. Those charged included:
On Sept. 12, initial searches and arrests were made in connection with an unsealed indictment and criminal complaint. Nine of the 12 charged have been apprehended.
The case was led by FBI agents from the OCDETF and, in addition to the BCSO, involved the participation of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the United States Marshals Service, the Department of Homeland Security, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS), the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), Lawrenceville Police, Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office and the Clayton County Police.
If convicted, the charged defendants face a maximum sentence of up to life imprisonment and fines of more than $10 million.