Over Five Kilos of Cocaine Seized
Local and Federal Law Enforcement Agents descended on 1601 College St. Tuesday afternoon in a drug raid that took more than one million dollars worth of cocaine off the streets.
Gerardo Orti Mendez, 31, and Tinoco Nieto Silviano, 30, believed to be originally from Mexico and residents of Columbus by way of Texas, were arrested on scene and charged with possession of cocaine.
Columbus-Lowndes Metro Narcotics Agents conducted the raid in conjuction with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Task Force, the Mississippi Highway Patrol and the Lowndes County Sheriff’s office.
Agents stormed the home just after 1:30 p.m. and had three men in custody within moments. Mendez and Silviano were arrested and charged with possession of cocaine. An unidentified man was also detained on scene and escorted to a waiting patrol car. As of press time Wednesday evening, his identity and potential charges had not been released.
Mendez and Silviano were believed to have more than five kilograms of cocaine in their possession, totaling more than one million dollars in street value.
[The potential profit from the five kilos can total up to a million depending on how it is cut and distributed. A kilo of cocaine sells for an estimated $27,500 to $28,000. Once purchased from the seller, the distributor will cut and distribute the drug, making a potential profit of $75,000 to $100,000 from one kilo. A kilo is 2.2 pounds but cocaine typically sells by the ounce or by the gram. A gram of cocaine sells for approximately $100 on the street and an ounce can be sold for $1,000 to $1,500, depending on the purity. With 1000 grams in a kilogram, once it is cut and sold by the gram, a kilo of cocaine could potentially be worth $100,000. If the cocaine is not mixed with a“cutting agent” and sold pure, the five kilos that were confiscated could have an estimated worth of $500,000. However, cocaine is frequently mixed with a “cutting agent” diluting the product and affecting the purity. If a kilo is cut in half and 50 percent of the drug mixed with a cutting agent, the drug and the profit is essentially doubled, making the five kilos of cocaine worth an estimated one million dollars in street value. According to law enforcement officials, most cocaine that is on the street contains less than 15 percent of pure cocaine. SF]
The home Mendez and Silviano were renting in is owned by local businessman Carlos Rosales.
Rosales arrived on scene shortly after agents rammed the door of the home and was immediately met by DEA agents, demanding Rosales to “show your hands!” The perimeter around the 1600 block of College St. was on lock down and when Rosales pulled up in his black Durango, agents were unsure of his intentions and relationship to the three men and the cocaine. Rosales was patted down and searched and briefly detained while agents verified his identity. During the course of the search, law enforcement officials discovered a licensed pistol in Rosales’s possession. Rosales was released by authorities minutes later.
When approached by The Packet, Rosales denied any knowledge of his tenant’s illegal activity saying, “I don’t know anything. I am not involved.”
The garage of the home where the raid took place was reportedly being used for storage for one of Rosales’s restaurants and was filled to capacity with discarded items. In addition to searching the garage, attic and home, the agents also searched and seized one of the suspect’s vehicles.
Both Mendez and Silviano remain in the Lowndes County Adult Detention Center and will be transported to either Aberdeen or Oxford in the coming days to be arraigned in federal court. Once in front of a federal judge, the two will be arraigned on federal charges, including possibly being charged with Conspiracy to Possess Cocaine with the Intent to Distribute.
The investigation into the case is still ongoing.