Forty-Five Defendants Arrested as part of Massive Assault
NOV 08 -- ATLANTA – Clayton County District Attorney Tracy Graham Lawson, DEA Atlanta Field Division Special Agent in Charge Rodney G. Benson, and Atlanta High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Director Jack Killorin announce the arrests of 45 defendants. Most of these defendants were indicted by a Clayton County Grand Jury a short time ago. During the duration of this investigation, the approximate amounts of items were seized as follows: 46 pounds of methamphetamine plus a clandestine methamphetamine laboratory (total amount to be determined), 43 kilograms of cocaine, 4,120 pounds of marijuana, 20 firearms, and $2,349,000 of U.S. Currency. The defendants were arrested as part of Operation Choke Hold which targeted the distribution network of a major Mexican drug trafficking organization known as La Familia.
In May 2009, the Atlanta HIDTA Task Force initiated an investigation targeting elements of the La Familia Cartel based in Atlanta, Georgia. This organization was responsible for the importation of bulk quantities of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and marijuana into the Metro Atlanta area. The organization distributed narcotics in the Metro Atlanta area, as well as shipped significant quantities to Florida, Alabama, Indiana, Illinois, and North Carolina.
In December 2009, the Clayton County District Attorney’s Office joined the investigation team and became a driving force behind the success of this case. Forty six individuals have been charged in Clayton and other counties with offenses including violations of the Georgia Controlled Substance Act, Trafficking, Conspiracy, Money Laundering, and weapons violations.
This investigation was conducted through the cooperative efforts of the Drug Enforcement Administration, the DeKalb County Police Department, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office, the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, the Troup County Sheriff’s Office, the Henry County Police Department, the Georgia State Patrol, the Spaulding County Sheriff’s Office, the Gwinnett Police Department and the Jonesboro Police Department.
DEA Atlanta’s SAC Benson encourages parents, along with their children, to educate themselves about the dangers of legal and illegal drugs by visiting DEA’s interactive websites at www.justhinktwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov.