Suspected drug kingpins arrested in bust

BUFORD -- Authorities said Monday that a months-long narcotics operation has ended, culminating in the arrests of two kingpins and several street-level drug dealers.

Police said the investigation began in early December when someone tipped the Gwinnett County Drug Task Force off to a possible methamphetamine operation.

The two main suspects, Antonio Ruiz Carbajal and Jesus Trinidad Ibarra, both of Buford, were quickly identified, said police, who simultaneously executed search warrants at the men's Saddlegate Drive and Cole Street homes.

"The operation identified these two locations in where the majority of the narcotics were being stored and distributed," said Gwinnett police spokesman Cpl. David Schiralli.

Schiralli said several specialized teams were involved in serving warrants, including officers from SWAT, crime suppression, community response teams and the Highway Interdiction Team.

Overall, 25 people were arrested in connection with 58 warrants for offenses associated with drug distribution and usage, reports said.

During the investigation, authorities seized:

* $45,000 in cash;

* Three pounds of methamphetamine valued at $80,000;

* Sixty-nine grams of cocaine valued at $6,900;

* Six handguns;

* One assault rifle; and

* Seven vehicles.

Schiralli said Carbajal is charged with three counts of trafficking methamphetamine, one count of possession of methamphetamine and one count of conspiracy to traffic cocaine, all felonies.

Ibarra faces four felony counts including conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine and trafficking methamphetamine.

Jail records show immigration holds have also been placed on both men, who are being held at the Gwinnett County Jail without bond.