Investigators seize $3M worth of cocaine in Chatham Co. drug bust

Drugs, money seized during a Chatham County bust (Credit: Chatham County Sheriff's Office)

Investigators shut down a high-level drug trafficking operation in Chatham County last week, seizing 38 kilograms of cocaine worth more than $3 million.

The Chatham County Sheriff's Office, alongside federal, state, and other local authorities located a major cocaine trafficking operation at 131 Morton Road, Chapel Hill, on Sept. 23.

Deputies located and seized 38 kilograms of suspected cocaine hydrochloride, the estimated street value of which is well over $3 million. Deputies also seized $530,000 in U.S. currency, which was packaged, sealed, and prepped for transport out of the country.

Deputies seized five firearms, multiple rounds of ammunition, a commercial-grade currency counter, digital scales, and several luxury vehicles.

Top row, from left: Jose Manuel Elzaldo-Serrano; Carlos Ocegyeda-Serrano; Venusian Serrano-Mejia. Bottom row, from left: Fernado Rivera-Hernandez; Christian Manor Gomez-Santos.

Investigators have charged Jose Manuel Elzaldo-Serrano, 39, Carlos Ocegyeda-Serrano, 41, Venusian Serrano-Mejia, 40, Fernado Rivera-Hernandez, 45, Christian Manor Gomez-Santos, 30, of 131 Morton Road, Chapel Hill, with trafficking a schedule II controlled substance, conspiracy to traffic a controlled substance, possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine, and maintaining a dwelling/place to sell or distribute cocaine, all of which are violations of the NC Controlled Substance Act.

Each suspect received a $1 million secured bond and had a first appearance in Chatham County District Court in Pittsboro on Sept. 26.

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