Drug Cartel Members Associated With Buford Stash House Sentenced

Fifteen cartel members sentenced in operation that nets over $23 million in drug proceeds including a $4.7 million drug money exchange witnessed at the Mall of Georgia and a stash house near Hamilton Mill Road.

A Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) known as “Operation Four Horsemen” has resulted in the seizure of 567 kilograms (1,247 pounds) of cocaine and over $23 million in laundered drug money in the Atlanta area.

United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said the DEA and other agencies followed the drugs and the money that were being moved by a Mexican drug trafficking and money-laundering cartel.

The investigation, which began in 2007, uncovered two Mexico-based drug trafficking cells in the Atlanta area. According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office, the cells received large shipments of cocaine that arrived in tractor-trailers from Mexico. After the drug traffickers received the cocaine, they subsequently shipped millions of dollars in U.S. currency back to Mexico by hiding the money in tractor-trailers and other vehicles.

Several of these transactions took place in Gwinnett County. In January of 2009, DEA agents witnessed Eduardo Antonio Moreno-Rosales, 27, of Mexico hand over $4.7 million in U.S. currency to Juan Alberto Garcia, 36, of Cordele, Ga. The transaction took place at the Mall of Georgia. Garcia was later stopped when traveling on I-75 in Henry County and the money was seized.

In July of 2009, agents executed a search warrant at 2971 Hollow Mill Lane in Buford and seized $51,000 in U.S. currency. Moreno-Rosales was using the Buford home as a “stash house” for drugs and money. Moreno-Rosales was stopped by the Georgia State Patrol on July 7, 2009 while attempting to transport 21 kilograms of cocaine to North Carolina. A few hours later, agents executed a search warrant at his Buford home and discovered another 77 kilograms of cocaine hidden in the trunk of a vehicle parked in the attached garage. The Hollow Mill Lane home is located off Hamilton Mill Road near its intersection with Camp Branch Road.

The following month, agents seized $179,978 in U.S. currency from a Lawrenceville residence. The Beeblossom Trail home was also being used as a stash house. Agents found 130 kilograms of cocaine inside the residence.

Several other large drug seizures were also made in Gwinnett County. In March of 2008, five kilograms of cocaine were seized during a traffic stop in Gwinnett County near the I-85/I-285 interchange. In August of 2008, 79 kilograms of cocaine were seized during a traffic stop of a vehicle on Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road.

“These defendants thought that they could use Atlanta as a base of operations for their drug trafficking and money laundering operation,” Yates said in a released statement. “But the DEA and other cooperating law enforcement agencies strategically followed the drugs and the money, picking off the criminals who were part of the scheme and the drugs and money that flowed from it.  These law enforcement agencies are to be commended for their efforts in dismantling this organization and taking tens of millions of dollars worth of poisonous drugs and dirty drug money off our streets.” 

Harry S. Sommers, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division said the law enforcement community will not tolerate the drug trafficking activities of Mexican cartel operatives.

“In this investigation, DEA and its law enforcement counterparts used every necessary tool to take away 1,247 pounds of cocaine and over $23 million in drug proceeds. The subsequent prosecution and sentencings would not have been possible without the spirited cooperation between our federal, state and local law enforcement colleagues and the U.S. Attorney's Office,” he said. 

The investigation also included drug and money seizures in Laredo, Texas. In total, the operation resulted in the seizure of 973 kilograms of cocaine, 1,445 kilograms of marijuana, and over $31 million in drug proceeds.

The head of the Atlanta-based cartel cell, 29-year-old Oliver Maciel-Macedo of Mexico, was sentenced to 16 years, eight months in federal prison to be followed by five years of supervised release. Other defendants have been sentenced as follows:

  • Ulises Giocochea-Solorio, 41, of Alpharetta, was sentenced to 15 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release. 
  • Eduardo Antonio Moreno-Rosales, 27, of Mexico, was sentenced to 14 years and seven months in prison followed by five years of supervised release. 
  • Roberto Carlos de los Santos, 35, of Mexico, was sentenced to 11 years and three months in prison followed by five years of supervised release.
  • Jose Antonio Ayvar-Soberanis, 43, of Tulsa, Okla. was sentenced to 10 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release.
  • Juan Alberto Garcia, 36, of Cordele, Ga. was sentenced to nine years and four months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.
  • Alejandro Sanchez-Morales, 26, of Mexico, was sentenced to eight years and four months in prison followed by five years of supervised release. 
  • Jose Edenilson-Reyes, 39, of Katy, Texas, was sentenced to eight years and six months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. 
  • Jose Lombera-Monje, 34, of Mexico, was sentenced to seven years and three months in prison followed by five years of supervised release. 
  • Osmin Zumaya-Azuara, 39, of Penitas, Texas, was sentenced to six years and six months in prison followed by 5 years of supervised release. 
  • Eduardo Javier Bernal, 33, of San Antonio, Texas, was sentenced to six years and six months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. 
  • Eleazer Hernandez-Valdez, 45, of Mexico, was sentenced to five years in prison followed by three years of supervised release. 
  • Jose Luis Morales-Samano, 38, of Mexico, was sentenced to four years and six months in prison followed by 5 years of supervised release.
  • Erika Delrosio Palomino, 24, of Duluth, was sentenced to two years in prison followed by five years of supervised release. 
  • Jimmy John Silva, 32, of Lawrenceville, was sentenced to one year and six months in prison followed by one year of supervised release. 

The case was investigated by Special Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration with assistance by the Georgia State Patrol, the Lawrenceville Police Department, and the Henry County Sheriff’s Office.

Cynthia Montgomery January 06, 2012 at 01:31 AM
Can you say, "ILLEGALS ARE RUINING OUR COUNTRY AND COSTING US MILLIONS IN LAW ENFORCEMENT?" Check the names above of the men arrested in this drug ring. It is time to shore up our country and send the thugs home! But then what would Americans do when they want to get high? Is your candidate voicing a stand on illegals and how they would stop the incoming drugs and drug cartels?
Jessica January 06, 2012 at 02:25 AM
Cynthia, you are a hopelessly ignorant woman. Who do you think is buying the drugs??? Your rich, white, educated, "legal" neighbors and friends. I hope your candidate is doing something to educate dumb a$$ people like you.
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew January 06, 2012 at 05:21 AM
Jessica, Your post shows a vivid contrast with Cynthia, but the "hopelessly ignorant woman" may have been misidentified.
Tom Thompson January 06, 2012 at 06:53 PM
@Jessica - R has it 100% correct. You are the ignorant person because your biased eyes obviously prevented you from comprehending what Cynthia posted. She asked what would Americans do when they want to get high after commenting we need to keep people from entering our country illegally. She correctly sees the problem as being both people freely crossing our border illegally and drug use by people here. You are the dumb a$$ as you put it so eloquently!
Cynthia Montgomery January 07, 2012 at 12:52 AM
Thank you R & Tom for your words. Jessica, WOW! To post someone is a "DUMBA$$ & to say someone is a "Hopelessly ignorant woman" is not your best work! Having another bad day? Short of an illegal drug user or a person high on illegal drugs, I do not know anyone that will say,"YES, DO DRUGS, THEY ARE GREAT! THEY HAVE MADE ME THE MAN OR WOMAN THAT I AM TODAY!" I have however know many families torn apart by drugs. Many drug using children never mature because they continue to need to be high to cope. If I were to use your train of thought, I guess you would blame the FAMILY driving home from Christmas for being on the road instead of the DRUNK driver for causing the deadly crash. After all, with your line of logic, it is the drug user that is at fault & not the drug pushers. I think drug sellers &users are lacking inner moral fiber. Please, in the future do not use the Patch to spew foul language as the Patch is for intelligent forward thinking people not for mean potty mouths.
Cynthia Montgomery January 09, 2012 at 04:13 AM
But most of all, WHO GOT THE 7.4 MILLION? According to what I have heard the governmental agency that "takes down" the arrest also gets to keep the "goods" which in this case is a nice amount. I hope some of that money comes to Gwinnett law enforcement agencies so we can have the funds to try to return Gwinnett to the way it was when we so proudly made it one of the top 10 growing counties in the country for 6 years straight. It seems now we have not even make the top 25 in the last 5 years ...my how times have changes. Maybe if we get the drug dealers out of here we can go back to being proud of our communities, schools, parks and citizens instead of knowing just down the road a drug deal is going down and another student is heading off to school high.
R++ One of the Famous Dacula Crew January 09, 2012 at 05:08 AM
Yes we have gotten some of these spoils, the Police and Sheriff's have been buying equipment for years here. BUT I sincerely wish we didn't have to claim this "consolation" prize.
Cynthia Montgomery January 10, 2012 at 05:06 PM
R. I agree with you about the 2 sided drug sword. I too would rather not have ill gotten gain from drugs. As I read the Patch police reports, I see that Hamilton Mill - I-85 is constantly a drop place or a pick up place with the drug activity going on all the time at the corner. The report never really says exactly where the exchanges are taking place, as it is reported as "the block of Hamilton Mill and i-85." Does that mean Dos Pancake or maybe one of the many parking lots of Walmart or Goodwill is the drop point? I am happy to see that with every arrest that means less drugs coming into the community. I am glad to see our police doing all they can to keep our citizens as safe as possible from the for the drug dealers, as Jessica believes, drug dealers and their drugs still would go away. That is not the truth. Dealers go where there are people with money to buy their drugs, which is rich Gwinnett county. The Hamilton Mill area is a perfect area for setting up camp for a drug dealer. Drug dealers know once a weak or wanting person is introduced to the drug life they normally have a "client" for life. Drugs alter the mind and the body. There are many people that want to escape from their current reality and drugs are their choice of relief. I was taught, if you are feeling bad about yourself or your life, go help another person with their life! Drugs are not an answer!
MIGHTYRED September 16, 2012 at 06:01 PM
WOW! your body has the ability to know "LEGAL" from illegal drugs?.Wow because statistics suggest that it's the middle class Caucasian female that keeps that multi trillion dollar drug ring going.Notice that most of them men selling meth are "LEGAL" residents?.Your ignorance is the more frighting aspect of all the post's and articles here.I bet you think raped women have the ability to spontaniosly arbort as well?HUH? WHAT?
w September 18, 2012 at 03:45 PM
Cynthia, did you see that more than half arrested are from the states? Just because they have hispanic last names does not make them any less American than you. The drug problem is an American problem, but it needs to be handled properly, and not by racially pointing fingers!
Your progressive neighbor September 19, 2012 at 02:00 AM
As you can see here, unfortunately it's self-righteous people like Cynthia finger pointing at the thugs with foreign names, who also scream the loudest about her issues with IMMIGRANTS...er, I mean illegals. By the way, What makes "Melendez" any more likely to be an "illegal's" name than "Montgomery"? There's no such thing as an American name. We have to act intelligently to resolve America's problems and not act out of fear and ignorance. Try it.
Cynthia Montgomery September 19, 2012 at 02:35 AM
I watch the Patch to see what is going on in my community. I am please to now see that the Patch will now list those held for another agencies, those held for non appearance and also those held for immigration issues. Please come to this country and find the American dream, all you who are weary and in need of a better life BUT selling drugs to my neighbors and their children is not the type of neighbor I want no matter their last name. Selling Drugs is not the American dream. For you to turn a blind eye to the problem of drugs is not saying much about your mindset. Illegal or legal, I have never known one person that has said, YES DO DRUGS! Doing drugs has made me the success I am today. Once again I find that liberals will not address the topic but are quick to name call and find fault the writer. It is hard for a person to admit wrong when they are involved in it. I do not let mean, name calling, angry people stop me from commenting on things I want to see changed in my community. I do not want drugs in our community as they fracture families, deplete families of their money for attorneys and court cost and the bring other illegal acts into the community. Sorry to upset your thought process but I welcome anyone into our county who comes here legally and with the mindset to become an American, no matter the last name. No self righteousness, just a common sense person who realizes that drugs are not the answer to anyone legal or illegal. Name calling is no answer!
Cynthia Montgomery September 19, 2012 at 02:47 AM
W, I did not make up the list but I did notice the name and home countries of those who were arrested. I did notice some were from Mexico & their contacts were here in America DUH! To turn away or to turn a blind eye while blaming a fellow citizen is weak at & best contributory as well. it seems that neither you or Jessica would make a very competent law official because you are blinded by names and politics. The politics of drugs is families addicted, families in chaos, families failing, families with damaged children, and money that could be spend on positive community needs going to ridding the community of drugs. What are you really upset with, it is really that all arrested had non traditional names because it that is your issue just stated tune and you will see more traditional names next week!


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