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Two charged with meth trafficking in Henry

By Jason A. Smith

jsmith@henryherald.com

Two men are being held without bond in the Henry County Jail, as a result of an undercover drug investigation by local authorities.

Jose Ignacio Esquivel-Arellano, 34, of Atlanta, and Jose Manuel Juarez-Silva, 51, of Stockbridge, are each charged with trafficking methamphetamine.

Agents with the Flint Circuit Drug Task Force apprehended the pair on Wednesday. According to Task Force Agent Shawn Shelton, authorities began investigating the case earlier this month.

"We had been working a case for the past three weeks, involving methamphetamine being distributed in Locust Grove, Hampton, McDonough and Butts County," said Shelton. "We used undercover agents to identify distributors at the local level. Agents began making purchases from several individuals."

Shelton said the task force served several search and arrest warrants on Aug. 18. The warrants, Shelton said, resulted in eight narcotics arrests.

"We seized a couple of ounces of methamphetamine, two vehicles and two pistols," he said. "We had an undercover agent contact Esquivel-Arellano and Juarez-Silva, to purchase an ounce of meth from them."

The suspects reportedly met with task force agents Wednesday, at the Walmart on Willow Lane in McDonough. Authorities say they found the two men with a quantity of the drug, which was sufficient to charge them with trafficking.

"After we arrested them, agents went to Silva's house with members of the Henry County Police Department's Narcotics Unit," said Shelton. "They seized two rifles - including an assault rifle - two pistols and a vehicle Esquivel-Arellano admitted to using, to deliver meth to Henry County."

According to Shelton, the investigation is ongoing.

Both suspects appeared Thursday in Henry County Magistrate Court. Judge Robert Godwin bound the charges against Juarez-Silva over to Superior Court, and reset a preliminary hearing in Esquivel-Arellano's case for Oct. 2.