According to Katrina Berger, a Department of Homeland Security special agent, the consequences of meth production include toxic vapors and deadly chemicals.
“These chemicals pose extreme danger to anyone in the vicinity,” Berger said. “The innocent children in the school next door and even the other family members in the household were placed in danger due to the defendants’ recklessness.”
The cousins were arrested when Brito-Arroyo was seen leaving the location of the meth lab and was stopped by a Georgia State Patrol trooper. The trooper found $10,000 in cash wrapped in cellophane in the car, as well as a 9mm pistol, the Justice Department said.
After Brito-Arroyo’s arrest, Homeland Security investigators got a search warrant for his phone and were able to use an app to view security camera footage from the home where the meth lab was located. Agents then got a warrant to search the house, where they found Arroyo-Garcia and Brito-Maldonado “actively operating” a meth lab in a backyard shed, the Justice Department said.
Agents seized more than 10 kilograms of crystal meth, some of which was more than 90% pure, and an unspecified amount of liquid meth, the Justice Department said. They also found another 9mm pistol, more than $8,500 in cash and “other methamphetamine trafficking paraphernalia, including respirators, rubber gloves and digital scales,” according to a release.
Agents also searched another home where Brito-Arroyo stayed and found another 9mm pistol, an electronic money counter and four bundles of cash totaling $41,000, the release said.