$3.1M in drugs seized in Georgia busts

Updated Nov 03, 2017
Spalding County Sheriff’s Office
Cupertino Mendoza, left, and Iartina Alvizo Zapata were arrested in Spalding County.

Four people have been arrested after authorities in two counties seized about $3.1 million worth of drugs in separate busts.

The first one occurred Wednesday in the 3800 block of High Falls Road in Griffin, the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office said.

About $1.5 million worth of cocaine and about $530,000 in cash were seized in that raid, Spalding sheriff’s Capt. Dwayne Jones said.

Sheriff’s officials, working with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, also took possession of four vehicles, a skid-steer loader and a cattle trailer at a 96-acre farm on Head Road.

“These items were found to be involved in the distribution of illegal narcotics,” Jones said.

Cupertino Mendoza and Iartina Alvizo Zapata were arrested and charged with trafficking cocaine, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of cocaine and possession of a vehicle with a false compartment, Jones said.

They are being held in the Spalding County jail, and they were denied bond Friday.

The second bust occurred about 8:45 p.m. Thursday when a Troup County sheriff’s sergeant stopped a tractor-trailer on I-85 North.

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The driver passed a weigh station and didn’t stay in his lane, sheriff’s spokesman Stewart Smith said.

Officials found about 151 pounds of high-grade marijuana in the truck with a street value of $1.6 million.

The driver, Amaury Izquierdo Mansito, and the passenger, Marco Alfaro, were charged with trafficking marijuana, Smith said. Mansito was also charged with failure to maintain his lane, failure to obey a traffic control device and driving with an expired license.

Investigators with Customs and Border Protection, the Department of Homeland Security and the state Motor Carrier Compliance Division helped in the marijuana seizure.

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