Traffic stop leads to multi-million dollar meth bust

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Local, state, and federal authorities worked together to bust a multi-million dollar methamphetamine operation. And it all started with a traffic stop.

Investigators said they first found 15 kilograms of the drug on Angel Luis Rivera-Santiago and Victor Rafael Aponte after the pair were pulled over. From there, FBI and Lumpkin County officials searched a location on Flanders Road, where cocaine and $166,000 were also found. The investigation then took officials to Cooper Creek Road, where they discovered a methamphetamine conversion lab.

Once the street value of the drug was totaled, agents with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said the 30 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine was valued at $3,234,000.

Authorities arrested Angel Luis Rivera- Santiago, 42, of Norcross, Victor Rafael Aponte, 30, of Dahlonega and Valentine Duarte-Vejar, 25, of Dahlonega. They were charged with trafficking methamphetamine. Eleoncio Perez-Pineda, 29, of Dahlonega, and Jose Mario Duarte-Vejar, 25, of Dahlonega were also arrested and charged with conspiracy to manufactory methamphetamine.

The suspects are currently in the Lumpkin County Detention Center. They face additional charges from Union County and their immigration status is under review.