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174 Pounds of Crystal Meth Seized March 9, 2005 AP Wire
Federal drug agents in suburban Atlanta, Georgia, have made what authorities call the largest seizure of methamphetamine in the eastern United States.
ATLANTA - Authorities have seized a record 174 pounds of crystal methamphetamine, with a street value of up to $16 million, along with $1 million cash and evidence of the distribution of hundreds of pounds of the drug known as "ice," federal officials said Wednesday.
A Lawrenceville man was arrested in conjunction with the seizure, which surpassed 125 pounds confiscated little more than a month ago, the previous record for the Atlanta area.
Victoriano Vega Jimenez, 42, was charged with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine, U.S. Attorney David E. Nahmias said.
Nahmias and Sherri Strange, who is in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration in Atlanta, said local law enforcement and DEA agents watched Vega attempt to deliver 5 pounds of crystal methamphetamine to a home in suburban Duluth on Monday.
According to the federal complaint, the agents searched Vega's vehicle and found a suspected drug ledger for the period of February 19 to March 6 that appears to show the distribution of approximately 134 pounds of "ice" and the collection of about $766,000 in payments.
Vega's vehicle was equipped with two hidden compartments to stash drugs and money.
After his arrest, agents searched two residences located in Lawrenceville that are associated with Vega, finding about 169 pounds of suspected "ice" and $80,000 located in two vehicles parked at the first house. Inside, they found about $700,000 in cash in a false compartment in a wooden chest, a loaded 12-gauge shotgun and two loaded handguns.
They also found suspected drug ledgers that agents believe to show the recent distribution of hundreds of pounds of the drug and the collection of more than $6,000,000 as payments for the drugs, the complaint said.
At the second residence, the agents discovered approximately $150,000 in cash. The complaint said agents also searched a safety deposit box associated with Vega and seized another $200,000 in cash.