Sunday morning the Garden City Police Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Effingham Sheriff's Office, and Department of Homeland Security conducted a search warrant on a property in Effingham County in connection to the death of 41-year-old Eliud Montoya, whose body was found on Old Dean Forest Road on Saturday.
Garden City Police tell us they began the search at 9 a.m. and concluded 10 hours later. During the search, they seized a large number of weapons.
Lt. McMillan with Garden City Police says the property was around 25-acres.
Four people are in custody with one of those, police say, is a credible suspect for the murder of Montoya. At this time no one is charged in connection with this murder.
Investigators are actively interviewing the subjects as well as processing evidence.
They are looking at a connection who Montoya was employed with. Police say there is no reason to believe the company Montoya worked for was a front for an organized criminal organization. At this time they are looking at ties to some of the employees.
Garden City Police say they are potentially looking at a national operation.
"We're very pleased with where we're at now," said Lt. Tim McMillan, Garden City Police Department. "Especially with potential that we could have shut down a large-scale violent criminal operation that has national implications that's here locally."
Lt. McMillan says Montoya's murder was not random.
"In light of the fact that there's potentially a larger scale criminal operation involved here, we absolutely believe that Mr. Montoya was a completely innocent person. He is a husband, a father and this is a person who innocently lost his life, who did not deserve to die," said Lt. McMillan.
On Saturday Garden City Police held a press conference on Montoya's death and another shooting homicide that took place Friday night. These were the first two shooting related homicides of 2017 for Garden City.
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