Indoor pot grow discovered on Camp Wahsega Road

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Robert Cartee

Tracey Cartee

DAHLONEGA, Ga. — An investigation started by anonymous tip to the Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office led authorities to a major indoor marijuana grow Thursday and the arrest of Robert Cartee, 53, and his wife Tracey Diamond Cartee, 50.

Acting on the tip, investigators with the Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office, with the assistance of the Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office (ARDEO), executed a search warrant at 2585 Camp Wahsega Road.

Confiscated in the search: 174- Marijuana plants, 24-firearms, 7- grow lights, 5- power inverters, a dehydrator, a vacuum Bag sealer, and over three pounds of marijuana ready for distribution. The marijuana and equipment are valued at $360,000.

Both have been charged with trafficking in marijuana and further charges are pending.

No bond has been set at this time.

 

 

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Lumpkin Sheriff’s Office, ARDEO make drug bust

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DAHLONEGA, Ga. – An investigation by the Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office and the Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office (ARDEO) led to the arrest Tuesday (Dec. 19) of 45-year-old Tony Anthony Monteith, of Dahlonega.

Agents seized methamphetamine, marijuana, clonazepam and hydrocodone with a street value of $2,200. Monteith was charged with possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of clonazepam (a schedule IV controlled substance), and possession of hydrocodone. He was transported to the Lumpkin County Detention Center.

ARDEO encourages citizens to report any suspicious drug activity via IM or at 706-348-7410 or contact your local Sheriff’s Office or Police Department. The Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office is a multi-agency unit that consists of the following Sheriff’s Offices: White, Lumpkin, Towns, Banks, Habersham, Stephens, Rabun and Franklin counties, along with the Cleveland and Lavonia Police departments and the Georgia National Guard Counter, Drug Task Force, Department of Public Safety and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

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New Plan in Drug Overdose Response

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Deputies Arrest Man with Weapons and Heroin

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DAHLONEGA, Ga. – The report of a suspicious truck left abandoned with a dog inside led to a foot chase, an arrest and the confiscation of 19 grams of heroin and a sawed off shotgun Tuesday.

The incident began when a resident reported a Dodge pickup truck parked and seemingly abandoned on Chestatee Shoals Drive off Cavender Creek Road. The truck was parked on the single-lane in a way that caused other vehicles to have to drive off the road to get around it.

The Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office who responded contacted the owner by phone and learned the truck had been taken under suspicious circumstances.

Steven Smith arrested in Lumpkin County.

While the deputy was investigating, another vehicle arrived and stopped further down the road. As the deputy drove towards the vehicle, he spotted a male walking down the road carrying a bag that was discovered to contain a sawed off shotgun, 19 grams of heroin and a pistol.

Deputies with the Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office, Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office, Georgia State Patrol and White County Sheriff’s Office participated in the foot pursuit that resulted in 27-year-old Steven Smith.

UPDATE: Smith has been charged with multiple felonies, including possession of a certain type of prohibited weapon, possession of a weapon during the commission of a crime, sale and manufacture of a controlled substance and criminal use of an article with altered identification. He is also charged with one misdemeanor, possession of drug related objects.

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

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ARDEO Shuts Down Multi-Million Dollar Meth Lab

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DAHLONEGA, Ga. – Agents with the Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office (ARDEO) and the FBI’s North Georgia Major Offender Squad shut down a massive methamphetamine conversion lab in Suches Friday, capable of producing more than $3.2 million worth of crystal meth and arrested five suspected drug traffickers.

ARDEO special agent in charge Mitchell Posey said in a press release that a traffic stop of Angel Luis Rivera-Santiago and Victor Rafael Aponte yielded the seizure of 15 kilograms of methamphetamine. During the subsequent investigation, Lumpkin County authorities and FBI agents executed a search warrant at 990 Flanders Road in Dahlonega. Valentine Duarte-Vejar ran from the residence but was captured and was in possession of a handgun.

This search warrant yielded a few grams of cocaine and $166,000 in cash. Agents continued to follow investigative leads until a conversion lab was located at 843 Cooper Creek Road in Suches. A conversion lab is used to convert liquid methamphetamine to its crystal form. Agents located a handgun and 15 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine at the lab.

ARDEO agents processed approximately 300 pounds of environmental waste largely containing methamphetamine oil. Agents on scene estimated the lab was capable of producing a minimum of 25-50 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine at a time. The Union County Sheriff’s Office, EMS, and Fire Department assisted with safely processing the lab.

This short but effective investigation was a federal, state, and local partnership that disrupted and dismantled a drug distribution network’s attempt to flood our communities with this destructive drug for their own financial gain. The street value of the 30 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine is $3,234,000.

“This was a surprise find for us,” Posey said. “It was something that fell in our lap and we realized that it could turn into something bigger, all it required was just some good old-fashioned hard work.”

Angel Luis Rivera- Santiago, 42, of Norcross, Victor Rafael Aponte, 30, of Dahlonega and Valentine Duarte-Vejar, 25, of Dahlonega were charged with trafficking methamphetamine.

Eleoncio Perez-Pineda, 29, of Dahlonega, and Jose Mario Duarte-Vejar, 25, of Dahlonega were later arrested in Dahlonega and charged with conspiracy to manufactory methamphetamine. The five men were transported to the Lumpkin County Detention Center. Their immigration status is pending. Additional charges are pending in Union County.

“Shuttind down something of this magnitude is huge for North Georgia,” Posey said.

This investigation continues. ARDEO encourages citizens to report any suspicious drug activity via Instant Message or by calling 706-348-7410 or your local sheriff’s office or police department.

The Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office is a multi-agency unit that consists of the following Sheriff’s Offices: White County, Lumpkin County, Towns County, Banks County, Habersham County, Stephens County, Rabun County and Franklin County, along with the Cleveland Police Department, Lavonia Police Department, the Georgia National Guard Counter Drug Task Force, the Department of Public Safety, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

The operation was a joint effort of the ARDEO, the Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI’s North Georgia Major Offender Squad.

NOTE: The names on the mugshots do not always match the names in this article because some suspects gave a fictitious name.

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

Angel Luis

Ruben Herrera

 

Eloncio Perez-Pineda

Javier Duarte-Vejar

 

Jose Duarte-Vejar

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Press Release

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2 More Meth Labs Discovered in Lumpkin County

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Sheriff Stacy Jarrard

DAHLONEGA, Ga. – Law enforcement officials discovered two more methamphetamine labs in Lumpkin County Tuesday capable of producing millions of dollars in crystal meth. The discovery dismantled a major criminal organization and has sent at least one member of the organization on the run.

Lumpkin County Sheriff Stacy Jarrard said it all started with a drug bust last Friday that uncovered a huge meth lab in Suches and led to the arrest of five Hispanic males.

That investigation led agents with the Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office, Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office, GBI and FBI to 289 Iberian Road in Dahlonega where they located a suspected meth lab that had been completely consumed by fire. The fire is being investigated by the Fire Marshall’s Office as a case of arson.

Agents then executed a second search warrant the same day at 126 Antique Way where they discovered another suspected meth lab. Lab equipment found at that location was consistent with the one found last week in Suches. They also located seven empty 55-gallon drums, three of which tested positive for methamphetamine, along with two AR-15 rifles, a pistol grip shotgun and a handgun.

Clara Catarino Mendoza

Both the Lumpkin County properties are linked to Clara Catarino Mendoza, 32, an Hispanic female, 5’1” tall, weighing 125 pounds. Agents believe that Mendoza fled with her two juvenile children. Arrest warrants have been issued on Mendoza for conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine. She is believed to be driving either a 2006 yellow H2 hummer, Georgia tag PYX 5020, a 2003 gray Ford Superduty Truck, Georgia tag PKM 9409 or a White BMW 4 door sedan (exact model and tag unknown). If anybody sees Mendoza or has any information on her please call the Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office at 706-864- 3633, the GBI at 1-800- 597-8477, the FBI at 1-800- 225-5324 or your local police department or sheriff’s office.

“I want to thank all the agencies involved in this endeavor to get this dangerous organization dismantled in our community,” Jarrard said. “As always, we are proud to have such good working relations with the FBI, GBI, Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office, as well as our hard working Lumpkin County Sheriff Deputies.”

 

 

Fetch Your News is a hyper local news outlet that covers Dawson, Lumpkin, White, Fannin, Gilmer, Pickens, Union, Towns and Murray counties as well as Cherokee County in N.C. If you would like to follow up-to-date local events in any of those counties, please visit us at FetchYourNews.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Four Indicted for Distributing Heroin

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