Five men are being held under $1 million bail each after Chatham County sheriff’s deputies seized over $3 million worth of cocaine, as well as over $530,000 in cash headed out of the country.
Depties joined federal, state, and other local authorities to conduct an extensive narcotics investigation at 131 Morton Road in Chatham County. Investigators suspected and later confirmed that a high-level cocaine trafficking operation was located at this address.
Deputies located and seized 38 kilograms, or about 83 pounds, of suspected Cocaine Hydrochloride (HCl), which is cocaine in its powdered form, with a street value of “well over $3 million,” according to a news release.
Deputies also seized an estimated $530,000 packaged, sealed and prepped for transport out of the country, the release said.
Also seized were five firearms and multiple round of various caliber ammunition, a commercial-grade currency counter, digital scales and several luxury vehicles.
Investigators have charged Jose Manuel Elzaldo-Serrano, 39, Carlos Ocegyeda-Serrano, 41, Venusian Serrano-Mejia, 40, Fernado Rivera-Hernandez, 45, Christian Manor Gomez-Santos, 30, of 131 Morton Road, Chapel Hill, with trafficking a Schedule II controlled substance, conspiracy to traffic a controlled substance, possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine, and maintaining a dwelling/place to sell or distribute docaine, all of which are violations of the N.C. Controlled Substance Act.
The suspects made their first court appearance Monday.
“Teamwork is the key to solving these complicated and extensive cases,” Sheriff Mike Roberson said.
“It takes a collective partnership with other local, state, and federal agencies and the community to identify and effectively respond to criminal activity. Don’t let cases like these stay hidden in the shadows; call 911 to share information if you suspect criminal activity in your neighborhood.”