Major Drug Bust In Buford ,Georgia DEA agents make a huge drug bust in Gwinnett County. The Federal Drug Enforcement Administration in Atlanta, calls it a record seizure of crystal meth. Agents discovered 187 pounds of "ice," along with 41 kilos of cocaine. The Administration's Ruth Whipple tells WSB's Ruth Whipple they made the discovery at a home off of Suwanee Dam Road in Buford, after following up on a tip. "The duffel bags that held the drugs were inside of seven large trashcans that were buried underneath the ground in the backyard of the residence," said Whipple. The find, worth up to $25 million is the largest in Georgia in a year-and-a-half, and the third largest seizure in the US this year. 43-year-old Eduardo Castro Torres, aka "Damian", 28-year-old Julio Ruesga Barajas, aka "Julio", 39-year-old Ignacio Castro Torres, aka "Nacho", and 25-year-old Jesus Alejandro Valencia Parra, aka "Medina" have been charged with possession and intent to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine.
Two arrested, two sought in record meth seizure by The Associated Press
ATLANTA - Two men have been arrested and two more are being sought following the seizure of more than 300 pounds of methamphetamine in Gainesville - a record for the state, according to federal authorities who made the announcement Wednesday.
Authorities seized 341 pounds of meth on Aug. 21 and 22, U.S. Attorney David Nahmias' office said.
The investigation began when U.S. Forest Service officials spotted four people cultivating a marijuana field inside Chattahoochee National Forest in Union County, Nahmias said added.
Authorities searched a house connected to the suspects where they found the meth. The investigation turned up 300 marijuana plants. Total value of all the drugs: more than $50 million.
Three brothers, all illegal aliens, have been arrested and the fourth, also believed to be in the country illegally, is still at large.
Investigators said the meth had been imported from Mexico.
(AccessNorthGa.com's Jerry Gunn contributed to this story.)
Faces of Meth Hits Rabun County. Megan Heidlberg WNEG NewsCHANNEL 32 Thursday, November 9, 2006
Nearly two million Americans are addicted to Meth, according to the White County Meth Task Force. Agents say it's the number one drug problem in most counties. Northeast Georgia is no exception. And, one out of every ten kids will try Meth and become addicted. To try and curb this growing epidemic a former Meth addict sharer her story with students at Rabun County High School Thursday. It's called the faces of Meth. Everyday people addicted to the drug so bad their bodies and faces are completely distorted. With sores taking the place of make-up and teeth so badly rotten they fall out. With that description you would think it would be easy to spot a Meth head. But when they look like Teresa Jones, that's not the case. "I'm a recovering Meth addict. I've been clean now for four and a half years." Teresa was 28 when she got hooked. A loving soccer mom and wife looking to loose weight and gain energy. That's when her so called friend introduced her to the "Jenny Crank" diet. "I had a friend that used Meth for weight loss and she was dropping 20 pounds a week," explains Jones. Teresa too lost weight. But she also lost her family and almost her life. "I no longer felt that energy and high. I tried killing myself. After that God gave me a second chance and I knew then I could never use Meth again." So she along with other members of the White County Meth Task Force travel around Northeast Georgia telling kids about the dangers of the drug. "The addiction rate is 95% after one try," says Sharon Lee, Director of the Meth Task Force. Through testimonials and pictures of what the drug can do, the Task Force hopes the students will take their word for it, and never try Meth! "Why would anyone want to look like that?" asks Rabun County High School student Taylor Copeland. "I think this will help a lot and deter someone from trying it." "I know we have a problem with it in school. I have a friend who doesn't go here anymore because of it," says student Katie Keller. Since Meth is no stranger to the high schools, Teresa knows her presence and story is needed more than ever, to try and help keep the innocent high school faces from ever looking like a Meth face. For more information on Meth including signs someone is using log onto www.Anti-Meth.org
Dispelling meth myths By Jeremy Styron News Editor Thursday, November 16, 2006 9:02 AM EST
Melisa Fincher, with the White County Health Department and the White County Meth Task Force, explains what a meth lab looks like during a Nov. 9 symposium on methamphetamine at Rabun County High School. Fincher's ex-husband is a recovering meth addict.
With the candor that comes from personal experience, Melisa Fincher told Rabun County High School students Nov. 9 that her ex-husband was tweaking so bad one night that he was poised to wage war.
"He thought there were people in his yard with night vision goggles coming to get him," she said. "He really believed this stuff was happening."
Fearing that he would take a loaded gun outside and start shooting, Fincher, with the White County Health Department and the White County Meth Task Force, had to sit with him through the night.
The task force held the symposium at the high school to discuss the perils of methamphetamine. Members of the force alerted students of warning signs when someone is using meth, shared testimonies and conducted a question-and-answer session near the end of the presentation.
Fincher's ex-husband also is the brother of task force founder Sharon Lee.
Lee said she recalled a surreal scene where men in hazmat suits stormed her home in search of a meth lab after officers found drugs in her brother's car.
Another member of the task force, Teresa Jones, met meth head on when a friend introduced the drug to her under the pseudonym, "the Jenny Crank Diet." Jones candidly told students that she once struggled with her image. The drug was a salve for her bleeding self-conscious.
"I felt great at first," Jones said. "I felt like a Superman. I felt like I could conquer the world, but that quickly went away."
Jones also quickly fell away from the people she once loved. As the drug set a vise grip on her life, she moved to Florida, where her dealer was relocating. She left her husband and two children behind.
"What they don't tell you is meth deadens every feeling that you have," she said.
Seemingly in an abysmal state of mind, Jones attempted suicide while in Florida.
"They don't tell you what's going to happen at the end - that it leads to death and destruction," she said. "And that's the truth."
Also during the presentation, the task force displayed images of high school-aged youth who were meth addicts. Greeted by some murmurs from the crowd, the images detailed how bony and welt-faced users get while taking meth.
The grim scenes were often highlighted by statements like: "You'll never worry about lipstick on your teeth again." and "How cool is this?"
Senior Taylor Copeland recalled seeing symptoms of meth in some high school students he knows.
"I've known people at the school that were affected by it," he said. "You can tell if they're on it."
Some warning signs that Fincher pointed out were: disturbed sleep, bruxism, drastic weight loss, hyperactivity, welts, severe depression and suicidal tendencies. Fincher also explained that between 95 and 98 percent of users who try the drug once are addicted within one year.
Meth triggers the natural body chemical, dopamine. At normal levels, dopamine "is the one chemical that makes us feel good," Fincher said. Such feelings occur when one eats chocolate, for instance.
"When you do a thing of meth, I've heard it puts out 1,000 times" that amount, she added. With each successive use, the need for larger doses grow exponentially.
When their addiction reaches full tilt, meth users feel like they are exploding inside, Fincher said. Her description was illustrated on a projector screen by an animalistic-looking man screaming.
Some questions posed by the students were:
€ Is methadone a type of methamphetamine? Fincher said the two drugs were not related, though relating the two was a common mistake.
€ Why do people do it when they know that they can die? Some are covering up pain in their lives or they are trying to change a mood, Fincher said. Jones added that peer pressure also was a factor.
€ After you get hooked on meth, how long does it take you before you die? Between 90 percent will either be in prison or dead within five years, Fincher said.
€ One student asked Jones: Do you still have any after effects? "It took me about two years 'till I was totally, totally clean," Jones said. She said aside from repairing her splintered family she no longer had any symptoms except slight and occasional cravings for the drug. Jones is divorced from the husband she left, but she still has custody of her two children.
Senior Katie Keller said the task force's personal testimonies hit home with some of her classmates. "I think that helped a lot because they can see how real it is - how people can go from having two kids to not even caring.
"I know there's got to be some out there who are probably scared who don't know how to get off."
Fincher's ex-husband is making positive progress in his recovery, Fincher said.
"He's really working on his addiction," she said. "This is the first time in five years that I hear the man that I loved on the phone again."
Addicted Mom Charged with Murder
The State of Georgia is charging a woman for allegedly causing the death of her baby by taking drugs while pregnant.
She faces murder charges, after one her twins died shortly after birth, which prosecutors say was directly attributed to her use of cocaine and amphetamines while pregnant. This is believed to be the first case of its kind to be prosecuted in Georgia. The woman's lawyer plans to get a dismissal on the murder charges on the argument that Georgia law does not allow it.