Suspected cocaine dealers took “a big hit” when police broke up an alleged drug ring in south DeKalb County that resulted in the arrest of 19 people on April 12.
“We have completely obliterated two different drug pipelines,” DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James said. “We’re talking about a big hit.
“We’re not talking about nickel and dime dealers,” James said. “We’re talking about a pipeline.”
During the course of the two-month-long investigation, officers seized more than 20 kilograms of cocaine and $250,000, James said.
The suspects were indicted on two counts of violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations-Acquiring Property through a Pattern of Racketeering (RICO) Act. They face various charges of distribution and trafficking of cocaine, and illegal use of a cell phone during the distribution and trafficking of cocaine.
The arrests were the result of a sting operation in which officers from DeKalb’s district attorney’s office partnered with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, according to Nicole Marchand, chief assistant district attorney.
The suspects were indicted by a grand jury before the sting, Marchand said.
“When you remove the pipeline…it takes awhile for the bad guys to recover,” James said.
The indictment describes Shantavious Mills and Derrick Smith as the alleged drug ring leaders, with several others acting as distributors: Gregory Barber, Edward Jerod Boddie, Jamaal R. Cox, Elton T. Dew, Kenny Bernard Frazier, Donald Griffin Jr., Michael Lee, Rafaell Lemons, Dominque Joseph Mackie, Cornelius Fred Mills, Eric Lanier Monday, Demetrius Smedley, Lamaze Williams, and Carlos Wright.
Using various locations, “including his mother’s house, Shantavious Mills would communicate with his accomplices in order to inform them of when cocaine was available, negotiate price, take orders for cocaine, and discuss ways to avoid arrest,” the indictment alleges.
On several occasions, Mills received the cocaine he distributed for Smith, according to the indictment. Smith allegedly received cocaine from Augustin J. Romero, Franscisco Rodriguez-Garcia, and Heriberto Serna-Soberanis, who possessed the processed cocaine at a house at 7126 South Goddard St. in Lithonia.
The indictment summarizes 344 segments of cell phone conversations, most involving Mills, in which callers are allegedly coordinating the distribution of cocaine.
In one conversation on Feb. 15, Mills allegedly talks with Barber about the arrest of two brothers. In the phone call, Mills says “everyone needs to be careful,” the indictment states.
During a March 3 phone call, Mills and Barber allegedly “talk about snitching and people getting locked up.”
Five days later, Mills and Boddie allegedly argue because Mills claims that he has lost money dealing with Boddie. Mills also says “Boddie is stupid for dealing dope out of his house,” the indictment states.