The GBI’s Southeastern Regional Drug Enforcement Office (SRDEO) recently executed four simultaneous search warrants in Jenkins and Burke Counties relating to an ongoing drug investigation. The search warrants were the culmination of a two year long investigation conducted by SRDEO agents in which commercial marijuana grow operations run by a Cuban Drug Trafficking Organization from Miami-Homestead, FL were targeted. As a result of the four search warrants, three large and sophisticated indoor marijuana grow operations with an approximate street value of over $1.3 million (total of 240 high grade plants and 31 lbs. of processed product), U.S. Currency totaling $46,420, and multiple firearms, to include rifles with night vision scopes, were seized. Additionally, each residence and related property, as well as several vehicles were seized. The fourth search warrant yielded evidence of a prior operation but was not active and the residence was not occupied.

The GBI’s Special Enforcement Team (SET), with support from the Georgia State Patrol (GSP) uniform division of Post 21 (Sylvania) and aviation unit, as well as personnel from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Jenkins County Sheriff’s Office, executed three of the warrants in Jenkins County. The Burke County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team and members of GBI SRDEO executed the fourth warrant in Burke County. To date, a total of seven locations have been identified and dismantled in Emanuel, Johnson, Jenkins, and Burke Counties.

Arrested:

Yurien Almeida, 33, 5309 Sid Lanier Road, Millen, Jenkins County, GA

Saili Fundora-Penate, 31, of 5309 Sid Lanier Road, Millen, Jenkins County, GA

Nestor Rodriguez, 30, 4019 Hwy 25 South, Millen, Jenkins County, GA

Sisleydis Almisaday Vegan Fierra, 24, of 4019 Hwy 25 South, Millen, Jenkins County, GA

Ernesto Rodriguez, 38, of 4941 River Road, Waynesboro, Burke County, GA

All subjects were charged with Manufacturing Marijuana and Possession with Intent to Distribute (Marijuana). All charges will be presented to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia for prosecution. This investigation remains active and additional arrests are anticipated. Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to contact the GBI’s Southeastern Regional Drug Enforcement Office in Metter, GA at (912) 685-5345.