Georgia authorities busted a drug “drug supermarket” and tied the group to Mexican drug cartels.
Georgia is no stranger to Mexican drug cartel activity, as one of the largest US-based methamphetamine labs—controlled by La Familia Michoacana—was discovered in Gwinnett County several years ago. The most recent bust came in late November 2015 as investigators arrested 26 individuals and shut down a drug ring with ties to Mexican cartels.
Investigators described the operation being run in a quiet neighborhood as a “supermarket for illegal drugs,” according to WSB-TV2 News. David Maldonado Baza, known on the streets as “Chucky,” was the top target of an investigation that lasted two years and involved phone taps, undercover buys, and finally a series of raids. An undercover agent testified in court, “Each time I would call Chucky or text Chucky and request a certain amount of narcotics, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine.” He continued, “Chucky would direct me to an individual who would then give me the narcotics in exchange for currency.”
The other individuals arrested in the sweep are likely lower-level players like drug runners or buyers, according to authorities. Investigators believe when they took Chucky off the streets, they cut off the flow of meth, heroin and cocaine into the county. However, drug distributors like Maldonado are usually very easy to replace. US law enforcement agencies that make large sweeps usually don’t explain later that most of the people they arrest often plead out for very brief sentences, and generally these operations only make a temporary dent in local drug flows until new distributors move in.
In December 2014, Breitbart Texas reported that eight operatives of a Mexican drug cartel were sentenced to US federal prison for their role in running a methamphetamine distribution ring in Atlanta. Agents from US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have also told WSB-TV2 News on a separate occasion that the metro Atlanta area is the largest East Coast hub city for Mexican drug cartels.
Sylvia Longmire is a border security expert and Contributing Editor for Breitbart Texas. You can read more about cross-border issues in her latest book, Border Insecurity: Why Big Money, Fences, and Drones Aren’t Making Us Safer.