Authorities say what started out as a local drug operation developed into a nationwide investigation, and reached into Mexico, Ecuador, and Peru.
Officials with the Drug Enforcement Agency, along with officials with Douglas and Cobb County, made the announcement late Wednesday morning at the Richard R. Russell Federal Building in Atlanta.
According to officials, the 1.5 year-long investigation, dubbed "Operation Freak Nasty," started on the streets of Douglas County and led investigators to South America. During the course of the investigation, 35 people were put behind bars, millions of dollars were seized, houses and other property locked up, and 66 kilos of cocaine were seized as well as three firearms.
Investigators said the drugs were smuggled in tractor-trailers among fruits and vegetables. One suspect was arrested at the Forest Park Farmer's Market.
A special agent with the DEA, Harry Sommers, called the investigation a root and stem destruction of the drug operation. Small drug traffickers, as well as sell operators representing Mexican drug trafficking organizations, were taken off the streets.
"This organization, at least domestically, is no longer going to be functional in our community," said Sommers.
One of those arrested was identified as Adan Macedo-Rios. Officials say he was operating a business out of Cobb County.
He is currently in the Douglas County jail, and faces multiple charges including violation of the RICO Act and distribution charges.
Agents said there are eight people that they are still seeking to arrest.
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