GBI makes drug-trafficking arrests after NE Cobb home search

GBI drug trafficking arrests NE Cobb home
Photo courtesy GBI

Five people were arrested last week on charges of trafficking methamphetamine drugs after the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s gang task force and the federal Homeland Security Investigations Unit executed search warrants at locations that included a home in Northeast Cobb.

The GBI said in a release Tuesday afternoon that the five individuals were apprehended in Cobb and Cherokee counties.

A residence on Highland Terrace, off Canton Road and near Shallowford Road, was searched last Friday, where agents seized more than 100 kilograms (around 220 pounds) of suspected crystal methamphetamine, a loaded AR-15 rifle and a handgun, according to the GBI.

Other searches in Cherokee included the seizure of around three kilograms of suspected methamphetamine, according to the GBI.

The bureau said Melissa Picardi, 37, of Atlanta, was charged with trafficking methamphetamine and is the only one of the suspects being detained in Cobb County.

According to Cobb Sheriff’s Office records, Picardi was arrested at the Market Square Shopping Center on Canton Road Friday afternoon and is being held without bond at the Cobb Adult Detention Center.

The four other suspects were taken to the Cherokee County Jail and also were charged with trafficking methamphetamine:

  • Antonio Jamar Laster, 24, of Nashville, Tenn.;
  • Bryan Hernandez, 23, of Atlanta;
  • Miguel Angel Rayon Gonzalez, 20, of Atlanta;
  • Jesus Cruz-Aguirre, 19, of Atlanta.

The GBI said the probe was part of an investigation begun earlier this year by its gang task force into the criminal street gangs Gangster Disciples and Ghostface Gangsters.

The agency said agents were specifically targeting the gangs’ weapons and drug trafficking relationship with local associates of Mexican cartel traffickers.

“Months of investigation led to a large amount of dangerous drugs and weapons taken off the street,” said Ken Howard, the GBI’s special agent in charge of the investigation. “The GBI Gang Task Force works collaboratively with federal, state, and local law enforcement to identify and eliminate gang activity and make communities safer.”

Cobb Police, Woodstock Police, and the Cobb and Cherokee sheriff’s offices also assisted in the investigation, which the GBI said is continuing and anticipates making more arrests.

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