Georgia police say that they’ve broken up a major drug ring after they discovered hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash stashed in a semi truck during a traffic stop earlier this month.
On Thursday, March 12, the Houston County Sheriff’s Office announced that they had charged 19 people in connection with a large scale drug ring that allegedly distributed cocaine and marijuana throughout central Georgia.
The investigation into the drug ring was dubbed “Operation Clean Sweep” and it was initiated in November 2019 with the Houston County Sheriff’s Office and the Houston County District Attorney. By March 2020, the FBI, the Macon-Bibb County Sheriff’s Office, the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office, and the Georgia Department of Public Safety had joined the investigation.
On the afternoon of March 4, Texas resident Francisco Costilla was stopped by police in Baldwin County, Georgia, while he was driving a semi truck. During this stop, police say that they found $284,600 in cash in a hidden compartment in the truck.
Also on the afternoon of March 4, police seized a shipment of about 87 pounds of cocaine in Bibb County, Georgia. The estimated street value of the seized cocaine is $3.8 million. Two men, Dexter Williams and Curtis Thorpe, were arrested while in possession of the cocaine.
Following the arrest of Costilla, Williams, and Thorpe, investigators served search warrants at three homes in Macon-Bibb county. At these homes, they discovered additional cash, drugs, and firearms.
On March 5, arrest warrants were obtained for 19 people associated with the drug ring.
Police have arrested 15 people so far in connection with the drug ring, including:
- Dexter Williams, 51, of Macon
- Loretta Williams, 51, of Macon
- Curtis Thorpe, 47, of Macon
- Francisco Costilla, 30, of Texas
- Kelton Mims, 39, of Eastman
- Oliver King, 50, of Tucker
- Sirad Little, 46, of Perry
- Donovan Williams, 30, of Macon
- Joe Sears Jr, 37, of Macon
- Jonathan Shaver, 30, of Perry
- Christopher Burner, 46, of Forsyth
- Lemark Williams, 47, of Macon
- Darien Harris, 38, of Thomaston
- Christopher Thompson, 46, of Lithonia
- Benjamin Kendall, 39, of Macon
All suspects are currently being held at the Houston County Detention Center in Perry, Georgia, without bail.
Police say that they expect to make more arrests in connection to the investigation.