Newnan Police assist in Mexico drug investigation
by Wes Mayer
On Wednesday, 17 members of an alleged Mexico-based drug ring were indicted by a federal grand jury for federal charges of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine around the metro Atlanta area.
The investigation was led by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations. Numerous Georgia law enforcement agencies, including the Newnan Police Department, assisted in providing evidence to the investigation. “These defendants are charged with using the metropolitan Atlanta area as their hub for the importation and distribution of millions of dollars’ worth of illegal deadly drugs,” said United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates in a prepared statement. “As a result of the tremendous cooperation between federal agencies and local law enforcement partners, this drug ring is now out of business.”
Newnan Police Chief Douglas “Buster” Meadows said that one Newnan Police Department officer is assigned to the ICE Task Force. Meadows said the officer participated in raids during the investigation and has been involved since the investigation started.
Authorities believe the 17 men were using passenger buses to transport drugs from Mexico, across the border and into the Atlanta area. According to the Department of Justice, since October 2013, law enforcement seized approximately 644 pounds of methamphetamine, 37 kilograms of heroin, 27 kilograms of cocaine, and $680,000 in drug proceeds.
Among the 17 men indicted are Atenogenes Alvarado-Delgado, 35 – the suspected leader of the drug trafficking organization – of Powder Springs; Jose Alvarado-Delgado, 35, of Austell; Reberiano Arroyo-Santana, 36, of Atlanta; Jose Antonio Pineda-Maldanado, 22, of Smyrna; Yarely Pineda, 22, of Smyrna; Alejandro Carmona, 63, of Arlington, Texas; Jose Cardenas-Garcia, 48, of Kennesaw; Alan Arnold Lopez, 24, of Mableton; Blanca Hernandez, 41, of Alpharetta; Ranferi Pineda, 24, of Norcross; Rufino Pineda-Perez, 48, of Lawrenceville; and Miguel Salinas, 22, of Lawrenceville. According to the Department of Justice, law enforcement officers continue to search for Manuel Arroyo-Delgado Jr., 23, of Sandy Springs; Enrique Arroyo, 38, of Atlanta; Reynaldo Maldonado-Guipes, 56, of Cumming; Rubi Torres-Aguilar, 44, of Austell; and one additional male known only as “Mocha.” Assistant United States Attorney Michael Herskowitz is prosecuting the case.