HALL COUNTY - Narcotics officers found more than 3 pounds of methamphetamine hidden in a truck battery in Gainesville, leading to more than $725,000 of drugs across North Georgia and part of North Carolina, according to authorities.
The Appalachian Regional Drug Enforcement Office said they took more than 15 pounds of crystal meth this week in “Operation Unicoi Pipeline,” a 16-month investigation involving a dozen different law enforcement agencies.
"This investigation revealed Charles Michael Ledford and Bobby Roger Burch were responsible for the distribution of more than 150 kilograms of methamphetamine in North Georgia and Clay County, North Carolina over the past two years,” according to the drug enforcement office.
GBI Special Agent in Charge Mitchell Posey said more than 3 pounds of the drug was hidden in a battery in Burch’s truck after he allegedly left Ledford’s residence heading toward Hayesville, North Carolina.
A search at Leford’s residence yielded another 12 pounds of methamphetamine. Authorities searching Michael Byers’ Young Harris residence led to an ounce of methamphetamine, according to authorities.
Authorities reportedly seized a cache of guns from Burch’s residence in Clay County, North Carolina, and county authorities said many had been stolen.
Ledford, Burch and Byers were arrested and charged with trafficking methamphetamine. They were each transported to the respective Rockdale County, Hall County and Towns County detention centers.
Posey said the estimated street value of the drugs was $725,000.
Authorities said additional arrests are expected, and anyone with information is asked to contact the drug enforcement office or any participating agency.