Investigators Say Harlem Drug Bust Is Significant - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

Investigators Say Harlem Drug Bust Is Significant

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Harlem, GA -

5 people are still behind bars after a major drug bust near Harlem. Investigators charged them with trafficking in cocaine and heroin, and possession of Marijuana with intent to distribute. More than 500 marijuana plants were located on a trailer in a field.

Authorities found 6 firearms and $14,000 cash inside the house. All 5 suspects are being held without bond, at the Columbia County Detention Center.

Narcotics investigators say this is one of the biggest drug busts they have ever seen in Columbia County. They say the operation could have been a hub for drug trafficking in the CSRA.

We spoke to an undercover narcotics investigator the investigation, but he asked that we didn't show his face during the interview. He says this is the largest amount of heroin he has ever seized during his entire narcotics career.

"I've been in narcotics for probably 14 to 15 years," says Staff Sgt. Williamson.

Williamson says that on Wednesday, he and other narcotics investigators executed a search warrant in Harlem. Williamson says they found more than 500 juvenile marijuana plants on the land, but that wasn't all they found.

"Two kilos of cocaine, close to a pound of heroin, a pound of marijuana, six handguns," says Williamson.

Williamson says finding that much heroin in Columbia County worries him. That's because heroin is one of the most addictive drugs and also one of the most expensive drugs. He says it's rare to find that much in one place.

"As far as the last year, 2012, the most arrests we made was marijuana, second was prescription pills, third would be meth. Next would be cocaine and it just goes down the list from there," says Williamson.

Investigators say the bust was definitely a significant one for the CSRA.

"This is going to set them back a little bit, but I'm sure that somebody else will step up," says Williamson.

People who live near the property where the drug bust took place say they had no idea an operation of that kind was going on in the neighborhood. They say the folks that lived on the land were nice and kept to themselves.

Williamson couldn't give us the details about how investigators discovered the operation in Harlem, but he says they knew about it for a long time.

"It varies. It could take years sometimes. To get to the right moment, to get the right way into an organization like this, it takes time," says Williamson.

Williamson says they obtained search warrants for all the vehicles on the property so they can strip them down and check for more drugs and cash.

Investigators say the marijuana plants are being sent to the GBI crime lab. If they are confirmed to be marijuana, warrants will be taken out for manufacturing marijuana.

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