Drug Enforcement Administration

Atlanta

Robert J. Murphy, Jr., Special Agent in Charge

April 09, 2018

Contact: Chuvalo Truesdell

Phone Number: (404) 893-7000

Ten Members Of Methamphetamine Trafficking Operation Federally Indicted

Atlanta - Ten members of an alleged methamphetamine trafficking operation that sought to distribute more than $1 million worth of drugs have been indicted in a 13-count superseding indictment on charges of violations of federal drug, firearm, and immigration laws. Seven defendants were arraigned today in federal court.

“Methamphetamine continues to ravage many communities in our nation,” said Robert J. Murphy, the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Division. “Because of the positive results yielded in this case, other methamphetamine (particularly conversion lab operators) in the Atlanta metropolitan and surrounding areas are being put on notice that DEA, its law enforcement partners and the U.S. Attorney’s Office will not tolerate their continued efforts to manufacture and distribute this insidious drug.”

“Methamphetamine remains a major threat to our community and it continues to be the main illegally-trafficked drug in this district,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “When people enter our country illegally and traffic meth while in possession of guns, they not only spread their poison, they drive violence in our communities.”

According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the indictment, and other information presented in court: Beginning in July 2017, agents with the DEA and the Atlanta-Carolina High Intensity Drug Trafficking (HIDTA) began investigating defendant Hugo Solano-Garcia a/k/a Gordo, and his associates in the Atlanta area, for trafficking methamphetamine allegedly smuggled into the U.S. from Mexico.

Over the course of the investigation, federal and local law enforcement agents uncovered a series of stash houses and methamphetamine conversion laboratories in two metro-Atlanta counties, DeKalb and Gwinnett, where the defendants would allegedly convert liquid methamphetamine into crystal methamphetamine for distribution, sometimes hiding the illicit drugs in hollowed-out fire extinguishers and car batteries. The defendants barricaded some of these conversion laboratories and guarded them with guns.

Agents raided one conversion laboratory in an apartment in Brookhaven, Georgia on January 30, 2018. In that apartment, they found approximately 65 kilograms of methamphetamine in crystal and liquid form and three firearms.

In total, law enforcement has seized more than 130 kilograms of methamphetamine over the course of this investigation. The drug trafficking conspiracy charge in the indictment names the following 10 defendants:

  • Hugo Solano-Garcia, a/k/a Gordo, also charged with possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime;
  • Victor Pacheco-Solano, a/k/a Pelon, a/k/a Moro;
  • Gerardo Calderon-Pacheco, a/k/a Plebe;
  • Valentin Solano-Salas, also charged with possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime;
  • Juan Confesor Camilo, a/k/a Jean Carlos Camilo, a/k/a Tigre;
  • Aldrin Barajas-Ramirez, also charged with possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, illegal alien in possession of a firearm, and illegal re-entry after being deported;
  • Miguel Pacheco-Penaloza, also charged with possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime and illegal alien in possession of a firearm;
  • Octavio Pacheco-Torres, a/k/a Burro, also charged with possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime;
  • Sair Calderon-Pacheco; and
  • Joaquin Reyes-Guillen, a/k/a Aviel Cabrera-Hernandez.
The indictment was returned on March 28, 2018. Solano-Garcia, Gerardo Calderon-Pacheco, Solano-Salas, Camilo, Barajas-Ramirez, Pacheco-Penaloza, and Pacheco-Torres were arraigned on April 6, 2018. Pacheco-Solano, Calderon-Pacheco, and Reyes-Guillen have yet to be arraigned. Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges. The defendants are presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendants’ guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial. This case is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Atlanta-Carolina High Intensity Drug Trafficking Program, and the following agencies: U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, U.S. Department of State, DeKalb County High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Unit, Georgia State Patrol, Gwinnett County Police Department, and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas N. Joy is prosecuting the case.

DEA also encourages parents & their children to educate themselves about the dangers of drugs by visiting www.justhinktwice.com, www.GetSmartAboutDrugs.com and www.dea.gov. Follow DEA Atlanta via Twitter at @DEAATLANTADiv

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