March 29, 2016 – Drug agents believe they’ve broken up one of the largest drug rings in the area.
A grand jury indicted 12 people on federal drug charges. They are calling the ring out of Hall County the “Lenox Park Cartel” because virtually every single one of the people arrested lived in the Lenox Park subdivision or knew people who did.
Agents think the group is responsible for distributing nearly 9,000 pounds of meth throughout north Georgia.
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Agents say Ruben Ruiz is the leader, and like nearly all of the others arrested, lived in the neighborhood.
Police photos taken during the initial raids in September show tubs of meth, packets of marijuana and a lot of guns that were seized by agents.
They arrested 12 people on serious state drug charges and, a month later, arrested them again on federal drug charges.
One of those men is Diego Contero. Contero’s sister-in-law insists that he is not a part of the cartel.
“My brother didn’t do it. He didn’t,” Gabriela Silva told Channel 2’s Richard Elliot. “What they’re charging him with, they never caught him with the stuff. The only thing he had right here were the rifles and that’s all.”
Contero’s wife told Elliot she believes her husband is innocent.
“I feel and I think that everybody that knows him, he is innocent because he wasn’t caught with the things they were charging him with. That’s why I say he’s innocent,” said Miriam Silva.
Drug agents disagree. They even arrested Contero’s brothers.
The agents seized more than $800,000 dollars in meth, $20,000 dollars in cocaine and $12,000 dollars in marijuana.