UPDATE: After "major" Whitfield Co. meth bust, some neighbors living in fear
The arrests are part of a major, two-year investigation led by the Whitfield County Sheriff and the DEA.
Friday, December 5th 2014, 7:51 PM EST by
Tuesday, December 9th 2014, 10:28 AM EST
UPDATE: A man living in Tunnel Hill says his neighbor was one of the 29 arrested on drug charges Friday. His arrest is part of a major two year investigation led by the Whitfield County Sheriff and the DEA.
"The DEA showed up last week and beat the door down," said David Cofer, "I mean they caved in a big heavy metal door to get in, get the man."
David Cofer felt like his neighbor was struggling with methamphetamine addiction but had no clue he was part of a major drug ring in Whitfield County.
"But this meth problem," Cofer said, "I don't have a clue what anybody can do to solve it."
A two year undercover investigation closed with 29 drug related arrests and 30 additional arrest warrants issued.
"One name turned into two, turned into three, turned into five," said Sheriff Scott Chitwood.
Police are calling three men, out of the 29 arrested, the major distributors, saying the drugs were coming from Mexico, to Atlanta and then Dalton.
"Law enforcement will touch the bottom level, the second tier, the third tier and you never get to the top tier," Sheriff Chitwood said, "But we've identified these people as possibly being on the top level, the top tier."
Cofer admits he's living in fear in his Tunnel Hill home, never knowing the kind of people his neighbor would bring home.
"I have a six foot chain-linked fence and a hundred pound dog," he said, "And a loaded pistol by my bed."
Cofer thinks of his neighbor as a kind man when he's not using drugs but doesn't know if he will ever beat the addiction.
"I have no clue how to help my neighbor at all."
Sheriff Chitwood says the drug bust will bring close to 60 local dealers off the streets but it won't solve the problem facing whitfield county.
"You take a few people like this off the street, three people step up next week to take their place," Sheriff Chitwood said, "So it's a never-ending battle."
The Whitfield County Sheriff's Office along with the Drug Enforcement Administration completed a two-year undercover investigation that lead to the arrests of three main methamphetamine traffickers and distributors.
Investigators tell Channel 3 the traffickers are responsible for over 500 pounds of methamphetamine distributed in the Dade-Whitfield County area over the last two years.
Investigators determined the methamphetamine was coming to Dalton, from Mexico, by way of Atlanta.
During the investigation over $250,000 in assets were seized, including a house in Athens, TN, 13 guns, 10 vehicles, and over $72,000 in cash.
A total of 29 individuals were arrested for violating the Georgia Controlled Substance Act and for other charges as a result of the investigation.
Investigators tell Channel 3 arrest warrants have been issued for at least 30 additional suspects on similar charges.
Some of the suspects will be charged in State Superior Court and other will be charged in Federal Court.
The three main distributors the Dade-Whitfield County are 36-year-old Rafael Segovia-Pineda of Dalton, 39-year-old Luis Rendon Jr. of Tunnel Hill and 38-year-old Adrian Melecio Trinidad of Chatsworth.