Richmond County narcotics officers arrested two men on drug trafficking charges and seized 3 kilograms of cocaine at a local motel Friday.
Police arrested Tyrone Jones, 29, of Hephzibah; and Kirk Anthony McBean, 32, of Atlanta, at about 12:30 p.m. at the Sleep Inn on Claussen Road, Lt. Robert Partain said. Three kilograms of cocaine - with a street value of $200,000 - were confiscated at the motel, he said.
"This is a very big bust. (It's) the largest single bust of cocaine this year," he said.
Lt. Partain would not discuss how investigators learned Mr. Jones and Mr. McBean were in the area with the drugs. Investigators say they think the drugs originated from Atlanta and were destined for Augusta, he said.
Police did not mention a potential buyer for the cocaine, but Lt. Partain said investigators are trying to identify the distribution ring.
The cocaine - stored in four freezer bags - will be sent to the Drug Enforcement Agency's Southeastern Regional Lab in Miami to be analyzed, authorities said.
In addition to being a large bust, police say, Friday's operation brought the arrests of some high-level drug suppliers.
"These (Mr. Jones and Mr. McBean) are major distributors here; they're not the guys that are dealing on the street corner," Lt. Partain said. "These are the ones that we're after."
Both men were charged with trafficking in cocaine, Lt. Partain said. They are being held in the Richmond County jail without bond, jail officials said.
The arrests came after a monthlong investigation involving the DEA and the sheriff's narcotics units, Lt. Partain said. No weapons were recovered from the arrest, he said.
Lt. Partain said the sheriff's narcotics unit has had success in apprehending drug dealers in Augusta. Earlier this month, authorities arrested about 70 street-level dealers after a seven-month undercover investigation.
"We feel like were making some inroads and winning some battles in the war on drugs," he said.
Albert Ross at (706) 823-3339 or firstname.lastname@example.org.