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Chestatee teacher among suspects in $6M drug bust in Oakwood

Authorities report cocaine, heroin, drugs found at home

POSTED: March 17, 2017 7:48 p.m.
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Ricardo Brito of Gainesville is wanted by authorities in connection with the seizure of $6 million worth of cocaine and heroin.

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Authorities seized more than $6 million worth of cocaine and heroin Thursday from a home on Crawford Oaks Drive in Oakwood.

The Hall County Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad arrested two suspects, one of whom was a teacher at Chestatee Academy, while the third suspect is still at large.

Monica Pascual Brito, 24, and Karla Alvarez, 28, both of Oakwood, were arrested and charged with trafficking and possessing with the intent to distribute cocaine and heroin. The two also face two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

Authorities are still looking for Ricardo Pascual Brito, 25, of Gainesville, who faces the same charges.

Alvarez has been teacher at Chestatee since August 2015 and coached the middle school girls soccer team, according to Hall County Schools spokesman Gordon Higgins.

“They got information that there was probably a substantial amount of heroin and cocaine at the house,” Hall County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Scott Ware said.

Ware said authorities believe the Britos are brother and sister.

Authorities executed a search warrant at a home in the 4000 block of Crawford Oaks Drive in Oakwood, reportedly finding 61 kilograms of cocaine, 1 kilogram of heroin and two semi-automatic assault rifles.

The estimated value of the drugs totaled $6,209,280.

The MANS unit was assisted by the Hall County Sheriff’s Office, Gainesville Police, Georgia State Patrol and the Georgia National Guard Counterdrug Task Force.

Of seizures he’s seen, Ware said the most cocaine ever seized in a bust was 88 kilograms.

“It’s up there,” he said. “It’s a pretty substantial seizure.”

The Hall County School District is conducting an internal investigation into Alvarez and is working in cooperation with the sheriff’s office.

Anyone with information on Ricardo Brito’s whereabouts is asked to call the sheriff’s office non-emergency dispatch at 770-536-8812 or the warrants division at 770-531-6907.

The case is still under investigation.

Tom Wolf, a resident in the Crawford Oaks subdivision, had heard through family about the drug seizure.

“If it was $6,000, anybody might expect that,” he said. “But $6 million, who expects that?”

Ware said he would anticipate further charges, as anabolic steroids were also reportedly found during the search.

Following the teacher’s arrest, Hall County School Superintendent Will Schofield said administration would be on high alert with counseling support available for students and faculty.

“Over my 17 years as a superintendent, I have had many employees arrested,” Schofield said. “We always try to give accurate and relevant information as quickly as possible. These situations are difficult, and people need an opportunity to express themselves and ask questions. We try to create that environment.”

Times reporter Carlos Galarza contributed to this report.



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