BURKE COUNTY, GA (WTOC) - The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has identified and dismantled numerous drug operations in South Georgia.
On Tuesday, Feb. 19, the GBI’s Southeastern Regional Drug Task Force executed four simultaneous search warrants in Jenkins and Burke counties relating to an ongoing drug investigation. The warrants were the culmination of a two-year-long investigation conducted by agents in which commercial marijuana grow operations ran by a Cuban drug trafficking organization from Miami-Homestead, FL, were targeted.
As a result of the warrants, three large and sophisticated indoor marijuana grow operations with an approximate street value of over $1.3 million (total of 240 high grade plants and 31 pounds of processed product) U.S. Currency totaling $46,420, and multiple firearms to include rifles with night vision scopes, were seized. Additionally, each residents and related property as well as several vehicles were seized. Investigators say the fourth search warrant yielded evidence of a prior operation but was not active and the residence was not occupied.
GBI and GSP as well as personnel from Homeland Security Investigations and the Jenkins County Sheriff’s Office executed three warrants in Jenkins County. The Burke County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team and GBI executed the fourth warrant in Burke County.
To date, a total of seven locations have been identified and dismantled in Emanuel, Johnson, Jenkins, and Burke counties.
The suspects arrested are listed below:
- Yurien Almeida, 33, 5309 Sid Lanier Road, Millen, Jenkins County, GA
- Saili Fundora-Penate, 31, of 5309 Sid Lanier Road, Millen, Jenkins County, GA
- Nestor Rodriguez, 30, 4019 Hwy 25 South, Millen, Jenkins County, GA
- Sisleydis Almisaday Vegan Fierra, 24, of 4019 Hwy 25 South, Millen, Jenkins County, GA
- Ernesto Rodriguez, 38, of 4941 River Road, Waynesboro, Burke County, GA
All were charged with manufacturing marijuana and possession with intent to distribute. All charges will be presented to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia for prosecution.
The investigation remains active and additional arrests are anticipated.
Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact the GBI’s Southeastern Regional Drug Enforcement Office in Metter at 912.685.5345.