Neighbor fears for safety after 2nd drug raid
by Lindsay Field
April 12, 2013 12:27 AM | 7592 views | 16 16 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Jose Maria Gama
Jose Maria Gama
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A northeast Cobb homeowner said he’s thinking about buying a gun after police raided his neighbor’s home for drugs for the second time in seven months.

Officers reported finding methamphetamine and cocaine with a street value of almost $1 million.

“We’ve had normal things happen in the neighborhood, somebody getting drunk or a loud party, but nothing like this,” said Rob Haddon, who lives on Alberta Drive near Post Oak Tritt Road.

The Marietta/Cobb /Smyrna Narcotics Unit seized about 38 pounds of methamphetamine, nearly 3 pounds of cocaine and a duffle bag of cash Tuesday night. They arrested Jose Maria Gama, who is renting the house from a Marietta landlord.

Haddon said it scares him knowing that renters were selling meth and cocaine right next door.

“I’m going to talk to the homeowner and see what he’s going to do here, because I’m not going to put up with him just putting somebody in there to pay his rent and have somebody there that I’m uncomfortable with,” Haddon said. “That’s two times … you’re on your last strike!”

In September, police seized 6,800 pounds of marijuana that cost an estimated $30 million and arrested two men who were charged with drug trafficking — Jesus Alfredo Sarabia and Oswaldo Ojeda Ramos.

Sarabia is in prison and Ramos is still in custody in the Cobb County Jail.

Haddon said he has complained to the homeowner three times since the new renter moved in, but only once did he see anybody show up to check out the house.

“The homeowner’s wife came over, but what happens if she comes over and she finds something?” he asked. “That could end up pretty bad for her.”

According to records on file with the Cobb County Tax Assessor’s Office, the home is owned by Thomas Mitchell of Marietta.

A scary situation

Haddon said he will also be checking in with police officials and complaining about them not informing him of the situation.

“That’s scary!” he said. “If you get somebody who really wants their meth from their dealer, they’ll do anything, anything.”

Narcotics officers arrived on the scene about 11 p.m. Tuesday and arrested 24-year-old Gama.

He was charged with two counts of drug trafficking and obstruction, and remains in the Cobb County Jail without bond on an immigration hold.

According to the warrant, Gama was in possession of 37.76 pounds of meth, 2.78 pounds of cocaine and a large duffel bag filled with cash when narcotics officers arrived on the scene.

Jason Saliba, deputy chief assistant district attorney, said the estimated value of the drugs seized is about $900,000.

Police said Gama also resisted arrest when two officers attempted to apprehend him.

The Cobb County District Attorney’s Office oversees the narcotics unit, and spokeswoman Kim Isaza said she was not able to release any additional information at this stage of the investigation.

A foot chase and a mysterious fire

Haddon said he saw police chase someone into the woods behind the home and drag him out in handcuffs.

“I asked one of the (officers) what was going on, and they asked me if I had seen the guy that day,” he said.

They had a brief conversation and left the home about three hours later.

That wasn’t the end of the nighttime activity, though.

Just before 2 a.m. Wednesday, a fire erupted in the home.

Denell Boyd with Cobb Fire said the fire is still under investigation and they don’t know its source, but firefighters were on the scene for about four hours, and it took almost 30 minutes to get the fire under control.

Haddon said he never heard what caused the fire. He said there is a tarp over the roof and the windows are now boarded up with plywood.
Comments
(16)
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MAY-RETTA SURVIVOR
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April 13, 2013
If they choose, neighbors/anyone living next to this house can sue the house owner in Small Claims Court for up to $5,000 for failing to correct this unlawful situation. I strongly urge everyone living in this neighborhood to GROW A BACKBONE and sue!
Rachel Guess
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April 14, 2013
It may be a while before he can rent that house again. Following a meth lab explosion hazmat has to clean it up and certify that it is inhabitable. The minimum cost for that is $20-30k. Quite a chunk for a property owner to have to pay before they can rent the place again.
A landlord
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April 12, 2013
The last comment is a very good one. The authorities should notify the IRS.

Now that the rental property has fire damage, in the news for drugs again and the home owner is being investigated the house may just sit in its present state for some time. I would hate that for all the neighbors. It will surely bring their home values down even though it is in Walton district. Throw a grisly murder in to the heap and the neighbors are really out!
anonymous
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April 12, 2013
It is not walton
illegalsaredruglords
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April 13, 2013
It's NOT in the Walton district, it's in Pope. Post Oak Tritt and Alberta Drive. That's right at Holly Springs/Post Oak Tritt/Alberta Drive. Poope, not Walton. The bottom line is Thomas Mitchell should be held accountable for renting his house to this scum. No one should have to worry about their neighborhood being infested with low life illegal druglords.
an example
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April 12, 2013
This sounds like an example of the homeowner (and taxpayer) being blown off by everyone, including the police. And why is the owner of the rental house allowed to get by with renting his house out to drug dealers? The whole thing sounds strange.
Be Careful
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April 12, 2013
As long as the county doesn't care if it's government contractors hire illegal aliens, they will NEVER make laws that you can't rent to illegal aliens.

In my old neighborhood, there was a drug house across the street from me. It was easy to tell what was going on. The renters never had a regular schedule (which indicated they don't have a job). Cars would come and go at all hours. Pulling into the driveway, and pulling out again in a few minutes. There was never any noise or anything to draw attention to the house, but you could tell from the constant car traffic that something was going on.

The home was raided and all arrested. The next renter started selling drugs. Once the drug community knows of a drug house, when it's available for rent another drug seller rents it and continues the business.

The only way the cycle was broken was that the owner of the house sold it. The new owner renovated the house and sold it to a family. Cycle broken.
Pat H
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April 12, 2013
Immigration hold - bingo for illegal alien meth dealers, part of the vicious drug cartels.

Until the 1986 amnesty that allowed the illegal alien invasion that followed, we never had gang activity in the suburbs. This activity was something that happened solely in city ghettos.

This is a nice area of East Cobb, the feeder high school is Walton. Get rid of the drug cartels in our neighborhoods by cracking down on illegal aliens driving and working in our County.

The owner of this house did not do due diligence. Charge him/her for the cost of the fire department's services for putting out the fire, for the police services for dealing with these low lives, and confiscate the property for the drug dealing.
anonymous
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April 12, 2013
It is not Walton
illegalsaredruglords
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April 12, 2013
Pat H, not that it matters but the school district is Pope. Again, doesn't matter because no one deserves to have this filth in their neighborhood. Where is Jerry Gonzalez, Rich Pellegrino and Kevin Foley to apologize for letting more illegal scum into our communities? Trust me, I'm not holding my breath.

I hope charges are brought against Thomas Mitchell and I really hope the IRS is checking into his rental income. I feel terrible for anyone who has to put up with anything remotely similar to this. I hope the MDJ follows up with its readers to let us know what became of this mess.
anonymous
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April 15, 2013
Go check your facts again and please stop making broad untrue statements about illegal aliens. Until 1986, we never had gang activity in the suburbs?

No checks
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April 12, 2013
It is evident Thomas Mitchell is only concerned with renting the home and not doing any background checks. It should be against the law to rent any home or apartment to illegals. People should have to show a Visa, green card or papers. It is sad that this slum lord doesn't care about the people in this neighborhood!
anonymous
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April 12, 2013
I truly feel for this neighbor, but let us not jump to conclusions that all renters are drug dealers in Cobb County as some people will. We need to talk about laws where if one conviction is made against a renter, well, saying that, what kind of laws can you make? Think about it. I can run a credit check, I can run a background check, I can run personal references, but I can't stop somebody from selling drugs. Why did this happen twice at the same location? I don't know. We need to find out. Neighborhood watches for drug traffic maybe. I don't know. Just don't judge shining apples with one bad one.
1legup
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April 12, 2013
I'm sure all are like myself and noted the names of these lowlife drug dealers-yep you guessed it hispanic. Yet again these thugs, probably illegal, are bringing into our country horrible, life destroying drugs to sale. Landlord are not doing enough to check-out these people. Now, the house has also has been burned. Send these criminals first to prison then OUT of OUR country and and ban their re-entry. Also, send their famielies back to their "homeland"
tire of it
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April 12, 2013
Hispanics pay cash that is why this landlord rents to them, he probably doesn't even claim the money on his taxes. Maybe the IRS needs to look into this matter.
atlanta duh
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April 13, 2013
First off, This landlord is awful and I hope he gets audited...now, look at the news and realize that the VAST majority of Atlanta crime is by a different race. Also, the majority of LEGAL latinos here are contributing members of society. It's pathetic there is such a market here for those drugs or we wouldn't have these problems...Meth is the devils drug and when the demand is gone so are problems like these. It's no coincidence it's in such an affluent area, would love to know how many east cobbers were his clients.
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