CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – Five men have been charged in connection with a high-level cocaine trafficking ring being operated out of a Chapel Hill home, the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office announced.
Authorities conducted a search of the home and Chatham Count deputies located and seized 38 kilograms of what they suspect is Cocaine Hydrochloride (HCl), the estimated street value of which is well over $3 million, the sheriff’s office said. Deputies also located and seized an estimated $530,000 dollars of U.S. currency, which was packaged, sealed and prepared for transport out of the country.The Chatham County Sheriff’s Office teamed up with federal, state and local authorities to conduct a narcotics investigation at a home located at 131 Morton Road on Sept. 23. As a result of that investigation, authorities were able to confirm that a high-level cocaine operation was located at the address.
Other items seized include five guns, multiple rounds of various caliber ammunition, a commercial-grade currency counter, digital scales and several luxury vehicles, authorities said.
The five people charged in connection with the operation are Jose Manuel Elzaldo-Serrano, 39; Carlos Ocegyeda-Serrano, 41; Venusian Serrano-Mejia, 40; Fernado Rivera-Hernandez, 45; and Christian Manor Gomez-Santos, 30, of 131 Morton Road.
They were charged 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 cocaine.
Each suspect received a $1 million secured bond and had a first appearance in Chatham County District Court in Pittsboro on Sept. 26.
“Teamwork is the key to solving these complicated and extensive cases,” said Chatham County Sheriff Mike Roberson in a news release. “It takes a collective partnership with other local, state, and federal agencies and the community to identify and effectively respond to criminal activity.”