HALL COUNTY - An investigation into illicit pills in Roswell led authorities to an underground bunker, more than 70 firearms, pounds of marijuana and a World War I-era machine gun on an Old Cornelia Highway property in Gainesville.
Drug Enforcement Administration Assistant Special Agent in Charge Chad Cook said the investigation started with Roswell Police into illicit pills being produced and distributed.
“As we were able to expand the investigation, it led us to this property. There was evidence associated with this property that there could be a clandestine lab,” Cook said.
At the end of a dirt road near East Hall High School, authorities executed a search warrant on the property Thursday, Aug. 23. The result was roughly 50 pounds of marijuana, several hundred pills, “over 50 long rifles and 20 handguns,” Cook said.
The pills are believed to be Xanax, but they will need to undergo analysis to be sure, Cook said.
The marijuana has a street value of at least $150,000, according to law enforcement.
To the side of the tarps covered in firearms was what Cook described as a World War I-era Gatling gun, but appeared to be a Maxim machine gun.
“We don’t know if it’s operational yet. We called our partners with (the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) out … They’ll take the lead on the firearms,” Cook said.
Some of the rifles had barrels shortened to an illegal length, while others had silencers. Cook said some items were found in an underground bunker as well as throughout the property.
Ammo boxes, camouflage backpacks, body armor and other assorted items were piled in a crowded garage near a Dodge Viper sports car above the bunker.
With shelves lining either side, the bunker below the garage was damp and had a putrid smell.
Cook did not give information on the owner of the property, and no people have been charged as of Thursday evening.
“We have Identified people in this region and outside this region that are part of the drug organization,” Cook said.