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District Attorney's Office receives federal award

By Mehgaan Jones

mjones@news-daily.com

The Clayton County District Attorney's Office received an award from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Atlanta Field Division, for its role in the takedown of an alleged, major Mexican drug cartel.

On Tuesday morning, DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge, Frank Mazzilli presented a plaque to the Clayton County District Attorney's Office, for its significant contribution to the federal agency, in "Operation Choke Hold," according to Clayton County Assistant Chief District Attorney Erman Tanjuatco.

According to Tanjuatco, DEA Special Agent in Charge Rodney G. Benson officiated the ceremony, at the Richard B. Russell Federal Building, in Atlanta.

"I am extremely proud of our efforts and collaboration with the DEA," said Clayton County District Attorney, Tracy Graham Lawson. She added that their efforts, along with several law enforcement agencies, helped cease the criminal activity of an alleged drug traffic organization, which spanned seven states and Mexico.

The District Attorney's Office assisted with the arrests of 46 suspects, allegedly connected to the La Familia Michoacana, described as a violent organization, responsible for the importation of bulk quantities of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and marijuana into the Metropolitan Atlanta area, according to a Drug Enforcement Administration media advisory.

The statement added that more than $10 million worth of drugs was seized in the operation.

Erman Tanjuatco, and Clayton County Chief Investigator Paul Garland accepted the award, Tuesday, on behalf of the Clayton County District Attorney's Office, according to Tanjuatco.