Drug suspect gets court date

By Ed Brock

One of two men arrested in a $3 million drug bust last week is expected to have a preliminary hearing on Thursday.

Also, Clayton County drug investigators were involved in a federal crackdown on a major Mexican cocaine and money-laundering ring.

Jesus Garcia Perez, 31, and Octavio Juan Perez, 23, both of Mexico, were arrested last Thursday at a "stash house" on Rosewood Circle in Jonesboro in a joint operation by the Clayton County Drug Enforcement Task Force and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

In one of the largest drug busts in Clayton County history, agents with the two agencies arrested four men and seized 1,000 pounds of marijuana, 5 pounds of methamphetamine, a car and a handgun.

The investigation began after a "buy bust" that resulted in the arrest of two Hispanic males and led task force agents to the Rosewood Circle house. There, agents discovered Jesus and Octavio Perez and a woman.

The house had electricity but no running water or furniture, leading officers to define it as a "stash house," a dwelling used only to store contraband.

Jesus Perez has been charged with trafficking in amphetamines and marijuana but Octavio Perez was only charged with driving without a license. Octavio Perez bonded out of jail on Friday.

That investigation is still ongoing.

The federal raid occurred Saturday and Sunday at two homes in Tucker, according to the FBI, and drug investigators from Clayton County and other agencies were involved.

In that raid 50 kilograms of powder cocaine, $2.7 million and nine vehicles were seized. The vehicles were equipped with elaborate hidden compartments in which drugs and money were transported.

Two men identified as the ringleaders of the operation were arrested. Investigators know them only as "Tony" and "Cocho" and are Hispanic males in their mid to late 20s.

The extent of involvement by the Clayton County agent or agents is not clear, said FBI spokesman Special Agent Joe Parris and Clayton County Sheriff Stanley Tuggle.

Also involved in the "lengthy investigation" of the operation were agents from DeKalb County, Doraville, Duluth and Lawrenceville.