An agent assigned to the FBI’s major offenders task force detailed a wiretap and years of investigation into a Hall meth trafficking organization “with direct ties to Mexico.”
Delfino Magana Madrigal, 35, and Jose Juan Garcia-Chavez, 29, appeared in court Friday, July 22 in a committal hearing on charges of the Georgia Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. Madrigal was charged separately with six counts of meth trafficking.
Both prosecutors and attorneys discussed the possibility of the case going into federal court, though nothing has been publicly filed as of Friday, July 22.
Chase Greene, who is assigned to the FBI’s major offender task force, took the stand Friday to detail the investigation going back to August 2019.
Greene said 10 people have been arrested in the investigation, which included a wiretap.
Garcia-Chavez was caught in the wiretap through phone calls and text messages to Madrigal discussing purchasing methamphetamine, Greene said.
Madrigal was considered the leader of the network in this area, Greene said.
“He was responsible for receiving methamphetamine from deliveries from Mexico,” Greene said. “He arranged a large part of the transactions herein (the) Gainesville/Hall County area.”
Walking through the warrants with Assistant District Attorney Shiv Sachdeva, the agent described six drug deals between August 2021 and March.
Five of those deals involved roughly 4 ounces of meth, but the last one was more than a kilogram. During the course of the investigation, Greene estimated there were at least three transactions involving a kilogram or more.
Law enforcement sources estimate a kilogram of meth to have a street value of $100,000 USD.
Garcia-Chavez’s attorney Graham McKinnon said that law enforcement never found drugs directly tied to his client.
When asked by McKinnon what his role in the organization would be, Greene said Garcia-Chavez was a “runner.”
“I believe in one case he said he needed 20 onions,” Greene said. “We know from our experience that with drug traffickers, onions usually means ounces.”
Madrigal’s attorney, Jim Smith, focused many of his questions on the wiretap and search warrants in the case
During the course of the searches at various locations, 8 pounds of methamphetamine were found in addition to $150,000 cash and more than 20 firearms.
Both defense attorneys did not offer any argument on the charges, and Magistrate Court Judge Brian Heck moved all of the charges on to Superior Court.
McKinnon then asked for a bond for his client, saying his client has been in jail since June 23 and had been accepted into a treatment facility.
Heck granted a $20,000 bond for Garcia-Chavez. Due to the severity of the charges, Heck said he could not consider bond for Madrigal.
A third defendant, Jorge Alarcon, waived his hearing through his attorney, Arturo Corso.