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Suspects accused of using paint to traffick $6M in meth in South Hall
02052021 METH 1
The Drug Enforcement Administration's Clandestine Laboratory Enforcement Team found numerous containers filled with methamphetamine oil, as well as containers filled with a mixture of paint and methamphetamine oil, at a Buford house. - photo by Hall County Sheriff's Office

The materials to make roughly $6 million worth of methamphetamine were seized Wednesday, Feb. 3, in a drug bust involving meth-infused paint at a South Hall home, according to authorities.

The Drug Enforcement Administration searched a home Wednesday in the 4000 block of Peachtree Drive in Buford, where they found containers filled with meth oil while others had a mixture of the oil and paint.

“According to the preliminary investigation, the drug trafficking organization transported methamphetamine-infused paint to the house, where the drug was extracted,” Hall County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Derreck Booth wrote in a news release. “Criminals would then convert the oil into a solid crystal form for distribution and sale to users.”

Booth said there was enough oil for 60 kilograms, which has an estimated street value of $6 million.

Booth said investigators believe the oil and paint were mixed prior to the transport to the house, but there are no businesses or distributors connected to the case.

Authorities did not have a timeline of how long the organization was operating in the area, and Booth did not have information on the kind of paint used.

The agents arrested Gerardo Valencia-Cervantes, 29, of Deland, Florida, and Ismael Marin-Urbina, 36, of Jonesboro. Both men were charged with trafficking methamphetamine and booked into the Hall County Jail, where they are being held with no bond.

The case is still under investigation.

No attorney information was available for Marin-Urbina Friday, Feb. 5, with Magistrate Court officials.

Valencia-Cervantes’ attorney, Anna Szatkowski, did not immediately return a request for comment Friday.


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