Drug case

Six suspects face charges following an operation by the Moultrie-Colquitt County Drug Enforcement Team. Top row from left are Gricelda Bustamante Gutierrez, Ricardo Hernandez Gutierrez and Maria Del Carmen Salazar. Bottom row from left are Gabino De Leon Tobias, David Dewayne Spradley and Eric Bernard Townsend.

Colquitt County Sheriff's Office

MOULTRIE, Ga. — A six-month drug investigation that culminated Monday with six arrests led to the seizure of more than two pounds each of cocaine and methamphetamine, 15 pounds of marijuana, more than $30,000 in cash and “numerous handguns and assault rifles,” according to police.

The probe covered Moultrie and Colquitt County and the surrounding area. The Moultrie-Colquitt County Drug Enforcement Team was assisted by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and the regional FBI Gang Task Force.

“Additional suspects are anticipated to be arrested involving this drug-trafficking operation,” the Drug Enforcement Team said in a news release.

On Monday police arrested:

• Gricelda Bustamante Gutierrez, 35, and Ricardo Hernandez Gutierrez, 29, both of 190 East Gate Circle, Norman Park, both charged with trafficking methamphetamine and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Ricardo Gutierrez also was charged with obstruction of a police officer.

• Maria Del Carmen Salazar, 44, and Gabino De Leon Tobias, 43, both of 189 Rivertown Road, Fairburn, Ga., each charged with trafficking cocaine, possession of methamphetamine and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

• David Dewayne Spradley, 35, 728 Seventh Ave. S.E., charged with trafficking cocaine and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

• Eric Bernard Townsend, 29, 355 Gene McQueen Road, charged with possession of cocaine and possession of marijuana with intent to distribute.

Townsend was released Wednesday on a $20,000 bond set by a Colquitt County Magistrate Court judge.

A judge on Wednesday denied bond for Ricardo Gutierrez and Gricelda Gutierrez as well as Spradley.

During a Thursday hearing a judge also denied bond for Salazar and Tobias.

With the exception of Townsend, all remained housed at Colquitt County Jail.  

Trafficking in cocaine and methamphetamine involves the possession of an amount of 28 grams -- an ounce -- or more of the substance.

The cases are expected to be tried in a federal court system, which does not grant parole.

Other federal officials also moved quickly. By Friday U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement had placed immigration holds on Ricardo Gutierrez and Tobias, jail officials said, and deportation orders have been issued.

It was not known whether they will stand trial on those charges or will be deported back to their home countries.

The weapons seized are “currently being processed,” the news release said.

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