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Two men from $1.8-million drug bust now face federal charges
Jose Manuel Duarte-Duarte.jpg
Jose Manuel Duarte-Duarte

Two men who were previously charged in a $1.8 million drug bust late last month now face federal charges, according to court documents.

Jose Manuel Duarte-Duarte, 24, and Byron Manolo Ramirez-Ramirez, 26, were both charged with possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime Sept. 27 following a four-month investigation involving local, state and federal authorities.

The two men, who are allegedly in the country illegally, were separately charged as having a firearm that was “shipped and transported in interstate commerce,” according to the U.S. District Court indictment.

Byron Manolo Ramirez-Ramirez.jpg
Byron Manolo Ramirez-Ramirez

The firearms listed in the indictment were a Daewoo DP 51 9mm and a Hi-Point CF380 pistol.

No attorneys were listed for the two men.

The Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad executed searches and made arrests Sept. 27 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 previously told The Times.

The MANS unit worked with the Department of Homeland Security, the Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office, the Georgia National Guard Counterdrug Task Force, the FBI, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the local agencies of Gainesville Police and the Hall County Sheriff’s Office.

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