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Two indicted on drug trafficking charges

ATLANTA - Two men arrested in Gwinnett County have been indicted on multiple drug trafficking charges by a federal grand jury.

Charges against Tom Contreras, 27, and Hector Suarez-Blanca, 26, both believed to be from Mexico, include "conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana and more than five kilograms of cocaine," according to a press release issued by the U.S. Attorney's Office.

If convicted, Contreras faces a minimum of 20 years and a maximum of life in prison, with a maximum fine of $8 million, the release said.

Suarez-Blanca faces a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison, with a maximum fine of $4 million.

According to the release, both were arrested Dec. 20 in Gwinnett County, and authorities discovered about 1,300 kilograms of marijuana in a rental truck driven by one of the suspects.

A subsequent investigation linked the men to a house in Gwinnett, where approximately 1,100 kilograms of marijuana, about 21 kilograms of cocaine, a firearm and approximately $24,000 in cash were found, the release said.

Further investigation revealed that the narcotics were delivered from the south Texas area.

"The indictment handed down today is the result of a coordinated multi-agency investigation that allegedly started in Texas and ended in metropolitan Atlanta, where the defendants were arrested in possession of about 2,400 kilograms of marijuana and 21 kilograms of cocaine," U.S. Attorney David E. Nahmias said. "We will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute these massive drug cases, which pose a significant threat to our community's well-being."

Special Assistant U.S. Attorney A. Brett Williams is prosecuting the case.