Sheriff: Major drug trafficking group dismantled
Staff Reports, Hartselle Enquirer
The Morgan County Sheriff's Department has broken up what they describe as a major drug trafficking operation, following an eight-month investigation and subsequent arrests involving a Hartselle man.
According to the sheriff's department, the organization was trafficking large amounts of marijuana and cocaine from Texas into Morgan and Madison counties. Agents with the Morgan County Drug Task Force and the Madison-Morgan County HIDTA Strategic Counter Drug Team had been investigating the group for eight months and, on Sunday, made several arrests and seized 70 pounds of marijuana, $30,000 in cash and several weapons.
The marijuana has a street value of some $140,000.
The joint investigation came to a head last Sunday when the Hartselle Police Department called agents to the scene of a domestic disturbance. Hart-selle police said when they responded to the domestic call, they saw drugs at the home of Joshua Clayton Smith, 1310 Berryvine Street, and called in the drug task force. Agents seized marijuana, cocaine and money.
Task force agents then contacted the HIDTA team and they assisted in seizing an additional 60 pounds of marijuana. The marijuana was seized after a car chase when the suspects allegedly threw the drugs from the vehicle.
Agents later stopped the vehicle and four suspects, Jeffrey Durkk Cagle, 19, of Huntsville, Marcus Wayne Johnson, 22 of Huntsville, Ray Maurico, 33, of San Antonio, Texas and Ricardo Jaview Johnson of Loredo, Texas were charged with trafficking in marijuana.
Agents seized an additional seven pounds of marijuana and $2,100 in cash from the home of the four suspects.
The investigation then led to Cullman County, where the Cullman County Sheriff's Department Narcotics Unit assisted the Morgan County Task Force and the Madison-Morgan County HIDTA-Stac Team in serving a search warrant at a home on 698 County Road 1387 in Vinemont.
At that location, agents seized marijuana, several guns and a motorcycle.