FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Major Heroin Arrest
February 20, 2015
On Thursday, February 19, 2015, agents of the Cherokee Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad (CMANS) were conducting an investigation in the Woodstock area when they observed an individual later identified as JOSEPH DEJESUS CENTENO. Agents had information that CENTENO was a major source of heroin distribution in south Cherokee County. Agents watched as CENTENO traveled to the Atlanta area and were able to track CENTENO back to Cherokee County. At about 7:30 PM CENTENO stopped at the Taco Bell on Highway 92 near Main Street, apparently waiting to meet someone. Agents moved in and arrested CENTENO who was armed with two handguns. Agents located both heroin and cocaine on CENTENO’s person. CENTENO, from Woodstock, was charged with Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute, Trafficking Heroin, and Possession of a Firearm during Certain Crimes. The heroin was weighed at the scene and was more than three times the weight required for a Trafficking charge in Georgia. Drug Trafficking is one of the most serious drug charges under Georgia Law.
Heroin use in the Atlanta’s northern suburbs has become a disturbing trend. In 2010 there were 13 heroin cases submitted by Cherokee County law enforcement officers to the GBI Crime Lab. By 2014 there were 59 cases submitted from Cherokee County (the same number as submitted in DeKalb County). In metro Atlanta, Cherokee County Crime lab submissions for heroin only ranked behind Fulton, Cobb and Gwinnett Counties.
The advent of Naloxone, better known as Narcan, being carried by Police Officers throughout Cherokee County has resulted in more heroin users being revived after an overdose. It is, however, unrealistic to believe individuals can use heroin without risk because the Police will save them. Heroin seen on the streets today includes many different drugs, and can have a variety of effects on the human body. The inclusion of Fentanyl, a powerful pain killer, has become common and the effects can be faster and more difficult to reverse.
The Cherokee Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad is a joint task force working in Cherokee County to investigate drug related violations. Participating agencies include the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office, the Canton Police Department, the Woodstock Police Department, the Holly Springs Police Department, the Ball Ground Police Department, the Cherokee County Marshal’s Office, the District Attorney’s Office for the Blue Ridge Judicial Circuit, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Georgia State Patrol. Citizens may call in tips anonymously to (770) 345-7920, or may speak to an agent by calling (678) 493-7625.