A multi-agency operation netted five arrests, with approximately 540 grams of methamphetamine and several firearms seized Tuesday morning. Multiple additional arrests are anticipated with regard to this investigation, which was initiated approximately two years ago.

“This will have a huge impact on our county. It’s taken drugs off the streets,” Cherokee County Sheriff Brent Dickson said. “Hopefully it will slow down drug use, burglaries, thefts and force them to go somewhere else to get their product.”

Authorities executed the search warrant at CR 1316 at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 23, with over 100 people from various agencies participating. The warrant led law enforcement to the discovery of a suspected methamphetamine conversion lab.

“Liquid methamphetamine and powdered methamphetamine are very predominant in the United States right now because they’re easier to transport and seal and smuggle across the border into the United States. They’re then converted through different conversion capabilities into crystal ice and then sold,” said Captain Logan Smith, Supervisor for CCSO’s Operations Center and head of the CCSO investigation.

The five arrested are Victor Toledo, Ezequiel Perez-Gonzales, Maria Perez-Gonzalez, Pedro Perez and Matthew Morris. Four are anticipated to be charged with drug crimes, while the fifth was arrested on immigration issues. The individuals are being held in the Cherokee County Jail pending federal arraignment.

Those arrested are thought to have ties to Mexico, according to Dickson, although authorities would not confirm any specific link due to the ongoing nature of the investigation.

“It was one of the biggest busts that we’ve seen in this area this far and it was definitely a very large drug trafficking organization,” Smith said.

Ten children, ranging in age from one to 14, were placed in the temporary custody of the Department of Family and Protective Services as a result of the operation.

Agencies involved in the serving the search warrant were the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, Homeland Security, Jacksonville Police Department, Smith County Sheriff’s Office, Drug Enforcement Administration, Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Investigative Division and DPS SWAT.

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