The following press release has been issued by Towns County Sheriff's Office. All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Toccoa, Georgia – Yesterday, 200 local, state, and federal law enforcement officers served 20 search warrants and 27 arrest warrants for members and suppliers of Horace Mayfield’s drug trafficking organization. Over the course of ten months, the Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office (ARDEO), with the cooperation of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Stephens County Sheriff’s Office, and the Mountain Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s office, brought down a multifaceted drug trafficking network with tentacles reaching south into Atlanta and north into South Carolina. Multiple criminal charges will be brought against these persons under the Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO) statute. Mayfield and his drug trafficking organization have been operating in Stephens County and surrounding communities for many years. Over the course of this investigation, the Mayfield drug trafficking organization can be attributed to 72 kilograms of cocaine, 15 kilograms of methamphetamine and 50 pounds of marijuana with a total street value of 9.5 million dollars.
This particular investigation is an example of the value of inter-agency cooperation. Because of the strong, existing relationships between the participating agencies, agents were able to share intelligence and coordinate the dismantling of a complex drug trafficking organization. Those agencies involved include ARDEO consisting of the following sheriff’s offices: White County, Lumpkin County, Towns County, Banks County, Habersham County, Stephens County, and Rabun County, along with the Cleveland Police Department, the Georgia National Guard Counter Drug Task Force, the Department of Public Safety, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, North Georgia Major Offenders Task Force (NGMOTF); a FBI-led Safe Streets Task Force (SSTF) consisting of the Cherokee County SO, GBI, Hall County SO, and Forsyth County SO; Conasagua Safe Streets Task Force (CSSTF), a FBI-led SSTF, consisting of the Calhoun PD, Chatsworth PD, Dalton PD, and Murray County SO; Northwest Georgia Criminal Enterprise Task Force (NWGCETF), a FBI-led SSTF; Gwinnett County Police Narcotics Unit; Northeast Georgia Regional DTF; Oconee County, South Carolina Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit; and the Anderson, South Carolina Sheriff’s Office.
Although numerous arrests have been made and evidence seized, the investigation continues and additional arrests are expected.
Sheriff Clinton said, “This investigation, one of this magnitude, took the better part of a year, as we have targeted the supply chain. With the expansion of the Appalachian Drug Task Force into the Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office, we've extended our network and resources. With that, we can expect to see more of these types of investigations.” Sheriff Clinton is the Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors for ARDEO.
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