Fayette Sheriff’s Department nabs $101K in metro Atlanta seized drug money

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The Fayette County Sheriff’s Department last week received thanks from federal officials and $101,000 as its share of drug money seized after an 18-month-long joint investigation into drug cartels operating in the Atlanta area, according to a news release from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Besides the Fayette S.O., other agencies sharing in $1.6 million in seized drug money were the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Department, Ga. Department of Public Safety and the Lawrenceville Police Department.

“These monies are derived from assets forfeited and/or seized in Operation Grand Finale, an 18-month-long investigation wherein the many varied law enforcement agencies worked together to disrupt a major cell of a Mexican cartel, a notoriously violent drug trafficking organization, and took a major step towards eradicating a significant threat to our economic and national security,” said Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Brian D. Lamkin of the Atlanta FBI office.

“During this investigation, agents and officers have seized approximately 581 kilograms of cocaine, approximately 219 pounds of methamphetamines, and approximately $3.5 million in currency,” Lamkin said.

“To date, federal charges have been filed against 16 defendants in several states. This investigation determined that the targeted organization regularly transported large quantities of cocaine, methamphetamine, and marijuana from Mexico to Atlanta, and then transported currency accumulated from the sale of the illegal drugs back from Atlanta to McAllen, Texas, and then on to the organization’s leaders in Mexico,” Lamkin said.

Fayette County S.O. is part of the David G. Wilhelm Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) Strike Force, now in its fourth year.