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FBI: 11 pounds of meth seized during North Georgia drug investigation
Javier Eras.jpg
Javier Eras

An FBI officer provided more details about a drug transaction in a Dahlonega Walmart parking lot in an affidavit filed in federal court last week.

The affidavit was part of an investigation in which six people were arrested and more than 11 pounds of methamphetamine were seized during a probe in Northeast Georgia branching out to North Carolina and Florida, according to authorities.

FBI public affairs specialist Kevin Rowson said the case was investigated out of the Gainesville area office, as federal arrest warrants were served Thursday, May 9, in Fulton, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Cobb, Cherokee and Pickens counties.

Six people were arrested on federal complaints of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

Tim Barnes.jpg
Tim Barnes

Those included: Teofilo Santana-Medrano, 28, of Lawrenceville; Lesli Alvarado Arroyo, 27, of Lawrenceville; Mitchell Lingerfelt, 44, of Ball Ground; Michael Davis, 56, of Canton; Maria Maldonado, 37, of Atlanta; and Salome Urieta-Jamies, 38, of Marietta.

Authorities are still looking for Javier Eras, 22, of Atlanta and Tim Barnes, 52, of Jasper.

The North Georgia Major Offender Task Force started working the case in November 2017, though the Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office initiated the case.

According to an affidavit supporting a wiretap application, an undercover agent agreed to meet Medrano in Dahlonega for a meth deal in June 2018.

The agent met Santana, Arroyo and a small child at the Dahlonega Walmart parking lot.

“From the backseat, (the undercover agent) observed Santana scoop out a quantity of methamphetamine from a cup containing a larger quantity of methamphetamine and place it into another cup,” according to the affidavit.

In February, the court granted agents the authority to intercept Santana’s communications.

“Through cooperation with assisting agencies the task force identified a drug trafficking network that Teofilo Santana-Medrano was using to traffic and sell kilos of methamphetamine in Metro Atlanta, the North Georgia mountains, North Carolina and Florida,” according to the FBI.

Gainesville Police, Homeland Security, Georgia State Patrol, the Georgia Department of Corrections, the Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office worked on the case.

The agent bought meth from Santana “on numerous occasions,” according to the affidavit.

Rowson was unsure of how much methamphetamine was distributed.

“I know that we seized over 11 pounds during the course of the investigation,” Rowson wrote in an email.

Anyone with information on Eras or Barnes is asked to call the FBI at 770-216-3000 or submit a tip at tips.gbi.gov.

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