5 charged after meth trafficking raids in Cobb, Cherokee

Authorities on Friday seized more than 100 kilograms of methamphetamine from homes in Cobb and Cherokee counties, authorities said. The monthslong investigation focused on the Gangster Disciples and Ghostface Gangsters' relationships with local associates of Mexican cartel traffickers, according to the GBI.

Credit: Georgia Bureau of Investigation

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Authorities on Friday seized more than 100 kilograms of methamphetamine from homes in Cobb and Cherokee counties, authorities said. The monthslong investigation focused on the Gangster Disciples and Ghostface Gangsters' relationships with local associates of Mexican cartel traffickers, according to the GBI.

Credit: Georgia Bureau of Investigation

Over 100 kilos seized from home in northeast Cobb, GBI says

Five people are behind bars after a drug trafficking investigation led to the seizure of more than 100 kilograms of methamphetamine in Cobb and Cherokee counties, authorities said Tuesday.

The arrests were made Friday following a monthslong operation into the Gangster Disciples and Ghostface Gangsters, the GBI said in a news release. Authorities said the investigation targeted the gangs' weapons and relationships with local associates of Mexican cartel traffickers.

Members of the GBI’s Gang Task Force partnered with agents from Homeland Security Investigations and local law enforcement in both counties, executing a search warrant at a home along Highland Terrace in northeastern Cobb.

Inside the house, authorities discovered more than 100 kilos of suspected meth, a loaded AR-15 rifle and a handgun, GBI spokeswoman Nelly Miles said. Simultaneous searches were conducted in Cherokee County, leading to the seizure of 3 more kilograms, authorities said. The drugs have an estimated street value of at least $1.2 million.

Five people were arrested on meth trafficking charges: Melissa Picardi, 37; Antonio Jamar Laster, 24; Bryan Hernandez, 23; Miguel Angel Rayon Gonzalez, 20; and Jesus Cruz-Aguirre, 19. Laster lives in Nashville, Tenn., while the other four live in Atlanta, according to the GBI. All five remain in jail.

“HSI is proud to be a founding partner of the GBI Gang Task Force which is a key pillar of the governor’s anti-gang strategy,” said acting Special Agent Robert Hammer, who oversees the agency’s operations in Georgia and Alabama. “Through our unique partnership we have been able to demonstrate that local gangs are working with Mexican cartel members and even MS-13 to bring their drugs and violence to the streets of Georgia.”

Authorities said the trafficking investigation is ongoing and additional charges are expected.

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