Alleged leader of multistate meth operation arrested in Cherokee

Alleged leader of multistate meth operation arrested in Cherokee

Four people arrested Friday when drug agents raided a Cherokee County home looking for the alleged leader of a multistate methamphetamine operation remain behind bars, authorities said Thursday.

Cherokee sheriff’s spokesman Jay Baker said agents from the Cherokee Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad had been investigating the activities of James Madison Flood III for two months.

Last Thursday night, the squad’s commander was contacted by agents with the Atlanta office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“ICE had been supporting the Taliaferro County Sheriff’s Office in a multi-agency investigation which pointed to Flood as a source of Methamphetamine in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina,” Baker said.

Armed with that information and a search warrant, agents executed the warrant at 4 a.m. Friday at a home on Vaughn Road, in the Hickory Flat area of the county near Canton, Baker said.

“Agents noted heavy security around the house, including several security cameras and a make-shift electrified fence,” Baker said Thursday in an email.

Agents arrested Flood, 28, of Canton, for trafficking in methamphetamine, Manual Jose Arce, 25, of Canton, for trafficking in methamphetamine and possession of a firearm while in the commission of certain crimes, Daniel Badger Franklin, 46, of Mineral Springs, N.C., for possession of methamphetamine and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and Colleen Lucille Pelz, 38, of Mill Springs, N.C., for possession of methamphetamine and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Baker said agents recovered $7,874 in cash, four firearms and 14 ounces of methamphetamine valued at $21,000.

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