200 pounds of drugs seized in Cobb

The busts bring the total quantity of marijuana seized by the Marietta/Cobb/Smyrna Organized Crime Unit this year to 465 pounds, eclipsing last year's total of 450 pounds with more than five months remaining in 2009. Seizures of cocaine have skyrocketed from 12 pounds in 2008 to 215 pounds so far this year, according to statistics provided by the Cobb County Sheriff's Office.

Cobb County Sheriff Neil Warren could not be reached for comment Thursday because he was out of town.

The first bust occurred Sunday after Cobb police were called to investigate a "person down" at a residence at 3194 Old 41 Highway in Kennesaw. Eduardo Juarez Rico, 22, was found dead of a suspected cocaine overdose in the living room, according to Cobb police spokesman Sgt. Dana Pierce.

Agents later discovered 2.7 pounds of cocaine and 2.3 pounds of methamphetamine in a bedroom, according to arrest warrants. Eighteen pounds of marijuana was located in a 1999 Honda at the home. Another 10 pounds of methamphetamine was hidden elsewhere inside the vehicle.

Authorities charged Jorge Junez Rico, unknown age, of Acworth with drug trafficking and Joaquin Uvalle Dominguez, 27, of Kennesaw with cocaine possession.

On Monday, agents searched an upscale townhome at 1612 Wehunt Place in Smyrna. They discovered 232 pounds of marijuana with an estimated street value of $1 million in the townhome, said Cobb County Sheriff's spokeswoman Nancy Bodiford.

The resident, Edmond Dewayne Hardrick, 26, of Smyrna, was arrested on a charge of marijuana possession and trafficking. Two other people at the townhouse, Lapresha Jo Delveau, 26, of Smyrna, and Ervin Dewan Crenshaw, 34, of Stone Mountain, were also jailed for allegedly trafficking drugs.

An even larger bust occurred in Gwinnett County last week. Gwinnett police confiscated 457 pounds of marijuana and several automatic weapons from a home at 885 Worcester Place in Lilburn after a neighbor tipped off investigators.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.