More than a week after he was charged in a $1.8 million drug bust, a 42-year-old man was charged in a slaying from more than 19 years ago.
Jose Luis Pacheco-Rojas was one of seven people arrested Sept. 27 after an investigation by the Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad.
More than $1.8 million in methamphetamine, black tar heroin, cocaine, marijuana and pills was found in the drug sweep involving five search warrants.
“After Pacheco-Rojas was arrested on drug trafficking charges on Sept. 27, his identity was confirmed as being connected to an outstanding murder warrant stemming from an incident that took place on September 18, 2000,” Hall County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Stephen Wilbanks wrote in an email.
Wilbanks said it was investigated as a “drug-related killing” on Highland Road in North Hall.
The sergeant said the body of Jorge Campos Ortega, 34, of Bakersfield, California, was left in a wooded area and discovered several days later by a hunter.
Ortega was struck in the head with a board, Wilbanks said.
“Immediately following the murder, Pacheco-Rojas is believed to have fled to Mexico until he resurfaced in the most recent narcotics case,” Wilbanks said.
Pacheco-Rojas was already facing charges of trafficking methamphetamine and cocaine, possession of heroin and marijuana with the intent to distribute, sale of methamphetamine and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.
The Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad executed searches and made arrests in the 3000 block of Gaines Mill Road, the 200 block of Cronic Drive, the 2000 block of Dixie Drive, the 3000 block of Wallace Road and the 3000 block of Coker Road. All of these are in Gainesville.
“These suspects and locations are all believed to be part of the same criminal organization involved in the distribution of illegal narcotics and weapons in Hall County and surrounding areas,” MANS Lt. Don Scalia wrote in a news release.
Scalia said the arrests Sept. 27 represent roughly four months of work focusing on mid- to upper-level dealers operating in Hall County.
Officers found more than 15.5 kilograms of meth, half of a kilogram of black tar heroin, more than a kilogram of cocaine, more than 2 pounds of marijuana and 200 sildenafil pills.
Sildenafil is often sold under the brand name Viagra.
The estimated street value of the drugs is $1,837,000.
The other suspects arrested were: Armando Duarte-Herrera, 28; Jose Manuel Duarte-Duarte, 24; Roberto Henriquez-Hernandez, 58; Cruz Mauricio Guzman, 36; Byron Manolo Ramirez-Ramirez, 26; and Everardo Santiago-Moran, 42.