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Bust is second in three weeks
Two suspects face trafficking charges
ferrel Ivan
Ivan Luevano Ferrel - photo by Submitted
Two men, one of whom authorities say is a previously deported felon, face drug charges after the second major local methamphetamine bust in about three weeks.

Ivan Luevano Ferrel, 27, of Atlanta and Robert Alvarez, 28, of Texas remained in custody Wednesday at the Forsyth County Detention Center, a jail spokesman said.

Bond has not been set for Alvarez. Forsyth County Sheriff’s investigators say Ferrel, who returned to the country after being deported, is being detained for U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement, or ICE.

Both men have been charged with trafficking methamphetamine. Ferrel also was charged with using a cell phone to facilitate a felony.

Sheriff’s Lt. Col. Gene Moss said undercover officers saw Ferrel and Alvarez engage in a drug deal about 2 p.m. Friday near Hwy. 9 and Allen Street in Cumming.

Investigators had already notified Cumming police that a deal would go down, he said.

“As a result of the arrest, approximately 1 pound of meth was seized as well as an undisclosed amount of cash and two vehicles that were used to facilitate the crime,” Moss said.

The drugs have an estimated street value of $30,000 to $40,000.

“This is the second major meth deal within the past two weeks which is a little bit unusual,” said Moss, adding that authorities had seen a drop in criminal activity related to large amounts of meth in the county.

The first bust this spring, which authorities said at the time was the largest in 13 years, involved two pounds of meth and five pounds of marijuana.

Arrested in April on drug trafficking charges were 57-year-old Jose Castro Mares and 37-year-old Joaquin “Chicago” Ayala, who was described as a “previously deported aggravated felon” and “one of the top-level suppliers in this area.”

Mares reportedly used his roadside pinestraw busines as a front to smuggle the drugs, authorities said.

Sheriff’s Capt. Paul Taylor said there appears to be an increase in the availability of meth, which likely is coming straight from Mexico to the Atlanta area.

Taylor said authorities have not found evidence of an increase in labs used to make the drug in Forsyth County.

Moss said the department’s property theft and vice and narcotics units are looking into the theft Sunday night of a 300-pound tank of anhydrous ammonia from a business on Atlanta Higway in south Forsyth.

He said authorities suspect the ammonia will be used to make meth.

E-mail Julie Arrington at