GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - A jury has voted to convict two men of trafficking over $1 million-worth of drugs in Gwinnett County.
Officials said that Daniel Garcia-Martinez was the leader of the Gwinnett branch of a Mexico-based drug trafficking organization. The other man, California resident Isidoro Bucio Villasenor, had delivered the drug shipment at the director of Garcia-Martinez.
The Drug Enforcement Administration and Gwinnett County District Attorney's Drug Task Force began their investigation in May of 2015 after a woman who was involved in the drug trafficking organization agreed to work as an informant.
Earlier in 2015 Garcia-Martinez had come up in a separate investigation by the agencies, but he had not been fully identified by the time the agencies had ended the prior investigation.
The confidential source told agents that the shipment, delivered by Villasenor, was concealed in compartments that were welded to the tire rims of his Ford Ranger.
Georgia State Patrol officers stopped Villasenor on southbound Interstate 85. Agents took the vehicle and, after hours of cutting out hidden compartments, discovered around 100 pounds of drugs.
The total amount was value at over $1 million.
The confidential source then informed agents that Garcia-Martinez directed her to deliver a kilogram of cocaine to a customer, officials said.
Officials arrested Garcia-Martinez to a home in Lawrenceville, Ga. on Aug. 19, 2015 where authorities said he resisted arrest.
At the trial, Villasenor testified that he had been forced to deliver drugs by the cartel, saying that a caller told him that his family who were living in Mexico was being watched.
On Friday night, a jury convicted the two men of trafficking more than 400 grams of methamphetamine, trafficking more than 28 grams of heroin, and conspiracy to traffic both methamphetamine and heroin.
Garcia-Martinez and Villasenor have not been sentenced yet. Both men face a maximum of 60 years in prison and a fine of $1 million.