Authorities seized two kilograms of cocaine with an estimated street value of $200,000 this morning in the second large-scale drug bust in Hall County in the past three weeks.
Since April 27, local law enforcement has recovered more than 14 pounds of cocaine in a pair of undercover operations.
This morning, two Brownsville, Texas, men were charged with trafficking in cocaine after they tried to sell the drugs to an undercover operative, Hall County Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad Lt. Scott Ware said.
One of the men arrived in Gainesville on a bus from Texas carrying more than four pounds of cocaine in a portable cooler with a pair of balogna sandwiches, Ware said.
Eduardo Javier Melguizo, 54, and Florentino Suarez Banda, 51, were arrested around 11 a.m. today after they arrived at a predetermined location on Hilton Drive between Browns Bridge Road and Atlanta Highway to exchange the drugs for $60,000 in cash, Ware said. Authorities put the street value of the cocaine at $200,000 based on the going rate of $100 a gram, Ware said.
Gainesville Police and the FBI assisted MANS in the arrests. The men were not armed and were arrested without incident, Ware said.
Both men were in the country legally, Ware said. One was a U.S. citizen and the other had a valid visa, he said.
The bust comes on the heels of an April 27 seizure of five kilograms of cocaine on Monroe Drive during another undercover operation. It was the largest cocaine seizure in Hall County in at least two years.
Seven men from the metro Atlanta area were arrested in that case. Four of the suspects were in the country illegally, authorities said.