COBB COUNTY, Ga. (CBS46) — Five people have been arrested and charged in connection to a methamphetamine drug bust executed by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and law enforcement agencies in Cobb and Cherokee counties.

The October 9th drug bust stems from GBI and Homeland Security Investigation Atlanta looking into relationships shared between the Gangster Disciples, Ghostface Gangsters and the Mexican cartel.

While executing warrants in Marietta last Friday, agents were able to seize over 100 kilograms of suspected crystal methamphetamine, a loaded AR-15 rifle, and one handgun from a residence in the 800 block of Highland Terrace Drive NE. At the same time agents in Cherokee County seized three kilograms of suspected methamphetamine.

“Months of investigation led to a large amount of dangerous drugs and weapons taken off the street,” said Special Agent in Charge Ken Howard. “The GBI Gang Task Force works collaboratively with federal, state, and local law enforcement to identify and eliminate gang activity and make communities safer.”

Special Agent in Charge Robert Hammer, who oversees Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) operations in Georgia and Alabama, added “Through our unique partnership we have been able to demonstrate that local gangs are working with Mexican cartel members and even MS-13 to bring their drugs and violence to the streets of Georgia.”

Those arrested in connection to the case include:

  • Melissa Picardi, age 37, of Atlanta, Georgia charged with trafficking methamphetamine. Held Cobb County Jail.
  • Antonio Jamar Laster, age 24, of Nashville, Tennessee charged with trafficking methamphetamine. Held in Cherokee County Jail.
  • Bryan Hernandez, age 23, of Atlanta, Georgia charged with trafficking methamphetamine. Held in Cherokee County Jail.
  • Miguel Angel Rayon Gonzalez, age 20, of Atlanta, Georgia charged with trafficking methamphetamine. Held in Cherokee County Jail.
  • Jesus Cruz-Aguirre, age 19, of Atlanta, Georgia charged with trafficking methamphetamine. Held in Cherokee County Jail.

The joint investigation remains active and ongoing. Additional charges are anticipated.

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