Officials say yesterday's find is possibly one of the largest meth confiscations in U.S. history. Meth manufacturers say they haven't felt this depressed since the General Assembly required pharmacies to stock pseudoephedrine behind the counter.
According to police, the home on Newbury Road was empty and appeared to be used solely to manufacture the drug. Jose Galvez-Vela of Weslaco, Texas, was arrested and charged with trafficking in methamphetamine. Police say they're following up on other leads to determine who's responsible for the drug's production in the home.
After the jump, photos from the seizure.
And now we're having to share that gift with the rest of the country.
The Smoking Gun has posted a photo gallery of the aforementioned stripper, who's been ID'd as one Sherry Ann Ramos — who, I must say, does not look like the kind of woman who'd make a married federal judge jump the rails. Her mugshot looks like it belongs in a PSA about the perils of meth. She doesn't look quite as, um, used up in all of the photos posted on TSG, but she's no Helen of Troy.
Also, this was, shockingly enough, not the girl's first brush with the law. According to TSG:
Ramos was originally indicted in January 2005 on a narcotics distribution charge, but later cut a plea deal to a lesser count of using a phone to arrange the sale of more than 50 grams of methamphetamine. In describing the unnamed stripper/informant used in the Camp probe, FBI agents noted that the snitch's rap sheet included a “federal felony conviction for use of a telephone in connection with a drug trafficking crime.”
Yes, the judge seemed to have picked himself a keeper, alright.
The last of, oh, about 150 suspects to be arrested in the sprawling, multi-state investigation into the Black Mafia Family pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court.
Vernon Coleman — who goes by "Wu," because of his love of Wu-Tang Clan — 'fessed up to one count of conspiracy to distribute five or more kilos of cocaine. He faces a minimum 10 years in prison and will be sentenced in U.S. District Court in December.
Coleman, who was scheduled to go to trial on Monday, ran the Atlanta-based label Life Records, as well as a party promotions firm, Wu Productions. His attorney, Chris Adams, says Coleman threw parties for the likes of NBA star Allen Iverson.
As for how Coleman hooked up with BMF, one of the nation's largest cocaine enterprises and a once-powerful force in the hip-hop industry, Adams says his client helped facilitate cocaine deals between BMF and cocaine distributors in Coleman's native Birmingham, Ala.
Coleman was one of 16 BMF associates indicted in federal court in Atlanta in 2007. It took authorities two years to catch up with him. U.S. Marshals apprehended him in July 2009, after taking a battering ram to the front door of the Sandy Springs apartment where he was staying.
Estimated value, in dollars, of marijuana seized by police in Gwinnett County on April 26: 327,000
Estimated value, in dollars, of weed seized seized by federal agents in south Fulton on April 24: 1 million
Estimated value, in dollars, of marijuana that law enforcement officials seized in Rabun County on April 7: 3.5 million
Estimated cost, in dollars, of pot arrests for Georgia taxpayers in 2006: 326 million
Estimated number of people sent to prison in Georgia for selling or possessing weed in 2009: 16,000
Maximum prison sentence, in months, for marijuana possession in Georgia: 12
Maximum prison sentence, in days, for marijuana possession in California: 0
Number of states that allow the medical use of marijuana: 14
Number of bills introduced by Georgia lawmakers this year to allow the medical use of marijuana: 0
Sources: AJC, CNBC, Georgia NORML, "Marijuana in Georgia," Dr. John Gettman
But really, it depends on how you look at it.
Impressively, the Marshals have rounded up pretty much every defendant named in seven federal indictments filed in Atlanta, Orlando, Detroit, St. Louis and L.A. That comes to nearly 150 men and women who played some role in BMF's sprawling, quarter-of-a-billion-dollar cocaine enterprise, which launched an Atlanta-based record label and was well-connected in the hip-hop world — including a tight relationship with Atlanta rap star Young Jeezy.
Most recently, Vernon "Wu" Coleman, an alleged distributor for the cocaine crew who was named in one of the Atlanta indictments, was arrested July 16. As far as I can tell, there's only one remaining defendant nationwide who's still listed as a fugitive: an L.A. drug dealer who allegedly supplied BMF distributors with kilos of coke in the crew's waning days, after BMF's founders — the brothers Demetrius "Big Meech" Flenory and Terry "Southwest T" Flenory — were jailed for running the criminal enterprise.
However, there are several suspected BMF members who, for one reason or another, were never indicted. So while it's true that almost every BMF member who was indicted has been arrested, there are still some stragglers.
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