The last of six defendants who operated a methamphetamine laboratory in a Milton house have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess methamphetamine with intent to distribute.
The admissions concluded a months-long investigation that led to the seizure of more than a quarter-ton of meth from several residences in the Atlanta suburbs.
Victor Manuel Sanchez, 21, of Mexico; Jorge Mendoza-Perez, 50, of Mexico; Fredrico Pacheco-Romero, 27, of Mexico; Carlos Martinez, 24, of Morrow, Georgia; Eduardo Lopez, 26, of Mexico and Santana Cardenas, 41, of Mexico, all pleaded pleaded guilty to participating in a drug-trafficking conspiracy.
“Mexican cartels push methamphetamine and other drugs in our district without any regard for the lives that they ruin along the way,” U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak said. “In close coordination with our federal, state, and local partners, we are committed to stopping the flow of drugs across the border, and their distribution in our community. The discovery and dismantling of a methamphetamine lab of this magnitude is a great win in that battle.”
According to U.S. Attorney Pak, a Mexico-based drug-trafficking and money-laundering organization led locally by Fredrico Pacheco-Romero and Carlos Martinez utilized homes in Milton and Ellenwood to convert large quantities of liquid meth into crystal meth.
Agents learned in early February 2019 that a shipment of liquid methamphetamine was destined for the Atlanta area. On Feb. 9, 2019, DEA agents obtained warrants to search a half-dozen properties utilized by the organization and the defendants.
According to the Those searches revealed an active methamphetamine conversion laboratory, approximately 400 pounds of liquid meth, approximately 125 pounds of crystalized or partially crystalized meth, hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash, and multiple cell phones, drug ledgers and firearms.
This case is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, with assistance from the Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office, the Cartersville Police Department, the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office, and SWAT teams from the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office, the Henry County Police Department, and the DeKalb County Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Theodore S. Hertzberg and Tyler A. Mann are prosecuting the case.