Three sentenced in Smyrna's 'largest methamphetamine seizure ever'

The U.S. Attorney's Office in the Northern District of Georgia said three Sandy Springs residents were sentenced in a drug-trafficking operation that involved nearly 40 kilograms of 100% pure methamphetamine. 

The U.S. Attorney's office said 31-year-old Alejandro Salazar-Gama, 29-year-old Miguel Salazar-Gama and 22-year-old Arturo Acevedo are facing years of prison time for their roles in the conspiracy. Miguel Salazar-Gama and Arturo Acevedo were sentenced on Sept. 15 after they pleaded guilty. Alejandro Salazar-Gama was sentenced in June 2020 after submitting a guilty plea. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas N. Joy prosecuted the case.

"Methamphetamine trafficking breeds violent crime and threatens our community," said Acting U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine. "We and our law enforcement partners are working hard to combat the trafficking of methamphetamine into and through the Northern District of Georgia, and we will use every tool available stop it."

Drug Enforcement Administration agents went undercover to purchase 40 kilograms of meth from a Smyrna business, officials said. They arranged a meeting on April 10, 2019, according to Erskine. Alejandro Salazar-Gama met the agent and met with the agent. He agreed to show the drugs to the agent, officials said. Arturo Acevedo and Miguel Salazar-Game appeared in a van minutes later, investigators said. 

The agent opened a box inside the van and saw meth inside. The Smyrna Police Department SWAT team converged and surrounded the three suspects. 

Law enforcement officers believe the roughly 39 kilograms of pure meth is the largest quantity ever seized in Smyrna.

"Methamphetamine poses a clear and present danger to our communities," said the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division Robert J. Murphy. "Because of the collaborative effort between DEA and its law enforcement partners, citizens of the Smyrna, Georgia community can sleep better at night knowing that these defendants will spend well-deserved time in federal prison."

U.S. District Court Judge Thomas W. Thrash Jr. sentenced Alejandro Salazar-Gama to 11 years, seven months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release. Arturo Acevedo received 14 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release. Miguel Salazar-Gama faces three years in prison. 

"This should be a shot across the bow to criminal elements intent on distributing their poison in our communities.  Law enforcement agencies in North Georgia are united and determined in keeping our communities safe," said Dan Salter, Director of the Atlanta-Carolinas High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.

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