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Raid at home nets $500,000 in drugs

DEARING --- Local, state and federal authorities seized an estimated $500,000 worth of marijuana and arrested two men during an undercover drug raid at a residence in Dearing on Friday.

Rene Mireles, 31, and Mario Faushino Garcia, 28, both of the 4600 block of Augusta Highway, Dearing, are charged with violation of the Georgia Controlled Substances Act for trafficking in marijuana, Capt. Chris Durden said.

They were being held in the McDuffie County Law Enforcement Center.

Authorities took them into custody without incident.

A report by Deputy Jared Land indicated that 425 pounds of marijuana was scheduled to be delivered to a residence in the county Friday.

Acting on that information, agents with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration and Homeland Security Investigative Unit raided the residence shortly after 5 p.m.

During the raid officers discovered the suspects opening a container where the marijuana had been stored, Deputy Land said in his report.

The marijuana was turned over to agents with the U.S. Homeland Security Investigative Unit.

While searching a rear bedroom, authorities confiscated a small-caliber handgun.

It was turned over to a special agent with the GBI Region 7 Office in Thomson.

McDuffie County Sheriff's Office Maj. Ronnie Williamson said the seizure of the marijuana was a result of cooperation among several law enforcement agencies.

The undercover drug operation conducted in McDuffie County last week was spearheaded by special agents with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

"It takes a united effort to combat the drug trade," Maj. Williamson said.

The latest marijuana discovery is the biggest in more than 35 years in McDuffie County. In the early 1970s, a large aircraft made an emergency landing at the local airport.

Local and state authorities later discovered the airplane laden with bales of marijuana.

Web posted on Thursday, December 23, 2010

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