5 booked in meth bust

BUFORD -- Gwinnett police arrested five men at home on a Buford cul-de-sac Saturday for their roles in an alleged methamphetamine ring.

The suspects had been on the radar of the department's drug task force since late last year, according to arrest warrants.

Investigators seized 194 grams of meth and an SKS firearm at the Saddlegate Drive home, located near Hamilton and Pucketts Mill roads.

Police have evidence that one resident, Antonio Carbajal, 31, was involved in two previous meth deals and had sent "runners" from the residence to conduct transactions, his warrants say.

Along with Carbajal, the other four suspects -- Eduardo de la Cruz, 21, Luis Palacios-Montalvo, 31, Aldahir Romero-Rodriguez, 22, and Erick Valerio, 23 -- remain jailed without bond on trafficking and weapons charges.

All suspects but de la Cruz, who was born in Texas, are being held for immigration authorities, according to jail records.

A police report detailing the arrests was not available Monday, said Gwinnett police spokesman Cpl. David Schiralli.

The alleged bust pales in comparison to record-breaking meth hauls by authorities last year, but it illustrates the presence of the highly addictive drug in all areas of Gwinnett.

A meth lab takedown in Lawrenceville yielded 174 pounds of the drug in October. And a 350-pound meth find at two Duluth homes in May was the largest ever recorded in the eastern United States, furthering metro Atlanta's reputation as a drug pipeline.