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Drug operation in North Georgia yields $725K in meth, some hidden in car battery
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Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office officials saidmore than 3 pounds of methamphetamine was hidden in a truck battery in Gainesville, leading to more than $725,000 of drugs across North Georgia and part of North Carolina. (Photo from Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement, For The Times)

Narcotics officers found more than 3 pounds of methamphetamine hidden in a truck battery in Gainesville, leading to more than $725,000 of drugs across North Georgia and part of North Carolina, according to authorities.

The Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office said it took more than 15 pounds of crystal meth this week in “Operation Unicoi Pipeline,” a 16-month investigation involving a dozen different law enforcement agencies.

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Narcotics officers with the Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office said they took more than 15 pounds of crystal meth this week worth more than $725,000 across North Georgia and part of North Carolina in a 16-month investigation dubbed “Operation Unicoi Pipeline.” (Photo from Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement, For The Times)

"This investigation revealed Charles Michael Ledford and Bobby Roger Burch were responsible for the distribution of more than 150 kilograms of methamphetamine in North Georgia and Clay County, North Carolina over the past two years,” according to the drug enforcement office.

GBI Special Agent in Charge Mitchell Posey said more than 3 pounds of the drug was hidden in a battery in Burch’s truck after he allegedly left Ledford’s residence heading toward Hayesville, North Carolina.

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Narcotics officers with the Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office said they took more than 15 pounds of crystal meth this week worth more than $725,000 across North Georgia and part of North Carolina in a 16-month investigation dubbed “Operation Unicoi Pipeline.” (Photo from Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement, For The Times)

A search at Leford’s residence yielded another 12 pounds of methamphetamine. Authorities searching Michael Byers’ Young Harris residence led to an ounce of methamphetamine, according to authorities.

Authorities reportedly seized a cache of guns from Burch’s residence in Clay County, North Carolina, and county authorities said many had been stolen.

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Narcotics officers with the Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office seized a cache of guns from a residence in Clay County, North Carolina, along with $725,000 in drugs across North Georgia and part of North Carolina, part of a 16-month investigation dubbed “Operation Unicoi Pipeline.” (Photo from Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement, For The Times)

Ledford, Burch and Byers were arrested and charged with trafficking methamphetamine. They were each transported to the respective Rockdale County, Hall County and Towns County detention centers.

Posey said the estimated street value of the drugs was $725,000.

Authorities said additional arrests are expected, and anyone with information is asked to contact the drug enforcement office or any participating agency.

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