MARYVILLE (WATE) – Two men from Georgia were arrested on felony drug charges following a months-long investigation by the Fifth Judicial Drug Task Force.
Martin Padilla-Mora, 26, and Ramirez-Sanchez, 40, were both charged with possession of crystal methamphetamine for resale in a drug-free zone and possession of a weapon during the commission of a dangerous felony. Blount County Sheriff James Lee Berrong then men were arrested on U.S. Highway 321 West after 3:00 p.m. Thursday.
Sheriff Berrong said the men sold 2 kilograms (4.4 pounds) of crystal methamphetamine to undercover officers at a $20,000 wholesale price. He said the street value of the drugs is $200,000 when sold for $100 a gram.
Officers also confiscated two loaded handguns. Both men are being held on a $125,000 bond pending a hearing Wednesday.
Property-related crimes are on the rise in Blount County, according to Sheriff Berrong. He said the crimes are a direct reflection of drug addition because stolen property is traded for drugs or money to sell drugs.
“In terms of impact to Blount County citizens, this street value of $200,000 is multiplied when you take into consideration that stolen property is often traded for pennies on the dollar,” said Berrong. “The drug dealers will later sell the stolen property for an additional profit.”
Berrong said in 2015 there were over 2,000 cases assigned the sheriff’s office investigators with more than 300 additional drug cases initiated by investigators. He said investigators pay particularly close attention to upper-level distributors that make the largest impact on the community.
PHOTOS: 5th Judicial Task Force seizes 2 kilograms of meth
PHOTOS: 5th Judicial Task Force seizes 2 kilograms of meth x