Atlanta-Area Federal Drug Bust: 45 Arrested, Two Tons Pot Seized

The haul in an Atlanta-area federal drug bust last week was enormous: 45 people and more than two tons of drugs were seized, law enforcement authorities said.

The Associated Press reports that the arrests were part of Operation Choke Hold, targeting the Atlanta-area distribution point for the Mexican drug cartel, La Familia Michoacana.

Among the items seized were the following:

  • 4,120 pounds of marijuana
  • 43 kilograms of cocaine
  • 46 pounds of methamphetamine
  • 20 guns
  • 6 motor vehicles

Federal and local law enforcement officials also seized approximately $2.3 million in cash during the operation. They said the value of the drugs confiscated is about $10 million.

Operation Choke Hold began in 2009, aiming to disrupt the La Familia ventures. Law enforcement authorities said the La Familia group in Atlanta imports heroin in addition to pot, cocaine and meth. The drugs are then exported to Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, Illinois and Indiana, they said.

Officials said Gwinnet County is an important distribution point for a number of Mexican drug cartels interested in selling narcotics in the eastern part of the country. The arrests were made in Gwinnet as well as other suburban counties.

Because the arrests and seizures were dispersed, law enforcement figures say it’s clear that the drug operations are moving out of Gwinnet, where Operation Choke Hold has been focused.

The director of the Atlanta High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program said the arrests and seizures showed that law enforcement agencies on different levels of government can work together to disrupt drug-dealing operations.

Those arrested face a wide variety of charges related to drug trafficking, drug possession, criminal conspiracies, weapons and money laundering.

Source: Associated Press: “Big Mexican drug ring hit in Atlanta-area busts”: November 4, 2010