On Sunday night, December 1, 2013, Dalton Police Department detectives led a methamphetamine bust that resulted in two arrests and the seizure of approximately $190,000 worth of crystal methamphetamine. Evidence found during the investigation also led investigators in Cherokee County Georgia to an additional seizure of methamphetamine, guns and an arrest. The take down was the result of more than a month’s worth of investigation initiated by the Dalton Police Department’s Drug Unit, investigators with the Murray County Sheriff’s Office, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), the Department of Homeland Security and Georgia State Patrol.
After more than a month of tracking methamphetamine trafficking in the Dalton and Murray County area, Dalton investigators received information that Angela Elezan Lovain, 36, of Chatsworth was planning to travel from Cherokee County Georgia to Dalton with methamphetamine. During surveillance, Dalton investigators requested that a Georgia State Patrol trooper conduct a traffic stop of Lovain’s vehicle near the intersection of Walnut Avenue and Dug Gap Road. Dalton investigators received consent from Lovain to search the vehicle and a narcotics sniffing K9 alerted on Lovain’s vehicle. After searching the car, investigators found approximately 4.3 pounds of crystal methamphetamine hidden in an appliance box. The street value of the drugs is estimated by investigators to be $190,000.
Dalton investigators arrested Angela Lovain and the passenger Richard Lee Long, 51, of Chatsworth. Lovain was charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, trafficking in methamphetamine, and possession of methamphetamine. Long was charged with possession of methamphetamine and trafficking in methamphetamine.
Information developed during the investigation was provided to the GBI and the Cherokee Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad (CMANS) which led to the execution of search warrants Monday, December 2, 2013. The search warrants resulted in the seizure of approximately 1.6 pounds of methamphetamine (values at $80,000), a sub-machine gun, and approximately almost $64,000.00 in cash. Three individuals were arrested and charged with trafficking methamphetamine and weapons offenses. They are William Cuellar for Trafficking Methamphetamine and possession of firearm by a convicted felon; Tatjana Jaric for Trafficking Methamphetamine; and Victor Martinez-Gonzales for Trafficking Methamphetamine.
The GBI, CMANS, and the Polk County Drug Task Force also executed search warrants and seizures in Cedartown, Polk County, Georgia.
In conjunction with these investigative actions, investigators with the Georgia Department of Corrections initiated related searches within two Georgia prisons where contraband cellular phones were seized. A network of methamphetamine traffickers, controlled and directed by at least one Department of Corrections’ inmate, has been disrupted and further arrests are expected. This multi-county investigation is being coordinated by the GBI, and CMANS agents continue to develop information about this drug trafficking ring as it relates to Cherokee County.
For additional information about the Cherokee County portion of the investigation, contact Commander Phillip W. Price at (678) 300-3806.