3 arrested in trafficking

LAWRENCEVILLE -- An undercover investigation by Gwinnett police has led to the arrest of three illegal aliens now facing drug trafficking charges.

On Wednesday, police arrested 50-year-old Maria Teresa Martinez-Contreras, 45-year-old Nivardo Zavala-Badillo and Christian Landaverde-Rocha, 25, all of 2025 Northland Drive in Lawrenceville.

According to reports, sometime Tuesday, Landaverde drove himself and Zavala-Badillo to a Lawrenceville McDonald's, where they met with an undercover officer to sell him a quantity of cocaine.

The exact quantity is unclear, though warrants say it was more than 28 grams but less than 200.

At some point during the transaction, Zavala-Badillo delivered the drugs in the parking lot to the task force officer, warrants say.

Landaverde-Rocha was also charged with possession of a dangerous weapon, a felony, for allegedly packing a sawed-off shotgun in his Honda Odyssey.

Martinez-Contreras, who police say accompanied Zavala-Badillo on "multiple drug meets" and negotiations, was arrested Tuesday evening at the home. According to warrants, she also disposed of a trafficking amount of cocaine during a "knock and talk" investigation.

In addition to trafficking, Martinez-Contreras is charged with violating the Georgia Controlled Substances Act for possessing cocaine.

The suspects are being held at the Gwinnett County Jail without bond, pending a preliminary hearing Wednesday afternoon.

Jail records show federal immigration holds have been placed on all three.