Four arrested in Bartow County drug sting

Four Cartersville men were arrested in Bartow County on a combination of gambling and drug charges, including the sale of synthetic marijuana.

A joint operation between the Bartow-Cartersville Drug Task Force, Dalton Police Department, Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Tuesday resulted in the arrests of Sanjayakumar Balden Patel, 40; Jinendra Prabhdas Patel, 51; Phillip Duane Barnette, 41; and Dhansukh Bhika, 62. All four men were taken to the Bartow County Jail for processing.

Sanjayakumar Patel was arrested for selling a controlled substance, Jinendra Patel was arrested for commercial gambling and operating a gambling establishment, Barnette was arrested for possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute, and Bhika was arrested for possession of a controlled substance, according to a news release from the drug task force.

In Bartow County, authorities raided The Burnt Hickory Grocery and Deli, a Tobacco Mart, an address on Springmont Drive and an apartment on Stone Mill Drive, where they seized cash that is suspected to be “the proceeds of criminal activity,” according to the release. Authorities also froze the business’ bank accounts and seized the contents of two safe deposit boxes at a Bartow County bank, which contained cash and foreign passports.

Authorities also searched an establishment called the Discount Tobacco and Food Mart in Whitfield County, where they recovered cash and hundreds of packages of synthetic marijuana.

The investigation, which began in 2013, continues and additional charges are possible, authorities said.