DUBLIN, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The Laurens County Sheriff's Office is one of several law enforcement agencies that helped bust a drug operation and seized more than two million dollars worth of cocaine in Georgia and South Carolina.
According to a news release, the Chatham-Savannah Counter Narcotics Team began the investigation into a drug organization operating in both Georgia and South Carolina back in March 2011. During the 20 month long investigation, a total of three drug organizations were identified with most persons distributing the drugs within Chatham County.
On July 3, 2012, CNT asked the Laurens County Sheriff's Office to help with a traffic stop. Investigators followed a car to Atlanta where they say it picked up 23 kilos of cocaine with 2.7 million dollars to take back to Savannah.
Deputies chased the car on Interstate 16, threw down stop sticks, and stopped the car in the western part of the county. Two people were arrested at the time.
Officers say they wanted to stop the car before reaching Dublin because the city was crowded for the Fourth of July fireworks celebration.
Sheriff Bill Harrell says he is proud of his officer's hard work.
"All the officers were willing to stay over, no questions asked. That's what its all about," he said. "We came together, [and] we set a plan in place."
Sergeant Chris Brewer with the Narcotics Unit was out there that night of the chase. He says he's grateful the sheriff's office had a plan to catch the bad guys and no one was hurt.
"Based on the amount of narcotics that we expected to be in the vehicle, we kind of thought, 'Hey they're not going to stop,'" Brewer said. "So we actually sat down, set up a game plan. It really makes you feel good that you were able to do a good job."
CNT officials also seized 10.9 pounds of marijuana worth $49,000. They also seized 10 firearms fron convicted fellons and more than $300,000 in cash.
The investigation also lead to the dismantling of all three drug organizations, criminal indictments of more than 39 people and the execution of more than 15 search warrants of residences throughout Georgia and South Carolina.
Other agencies involved in the investigation include the Drug Enforcement Administration, McIntosh County Sheriff's Office, Darien Police Department, and the Beaufort South Carolina Sheriff's Office.