Federal and DeKalb County authorities say they have dismantled a methamphetamine lab directly across the street from a Stone Mountain-area elementary school.
Pedro Suarez-Rangel, 23, and Juan Perez-Garcia, 28, are accused in the operation on Stephenson Road by Pine Ridge Elementary School, according to a news release from the Drug Enforcement Administration. Also nearby are Stephenson middle and high schools.
The chemicals used in meth labs are volatile and can produce violent, deadly explosions.
“I’m especially disturbed that this meth lab was operating directly across the street from a school,” DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James said. “There’s no telling how the hundreds of students there could have been impacted by the proximity of such dangerous drugs to a school.”
James said the case, which involved a partnership with the DEA and DeKalb police, only “scratches the surface of our fight to remove these drugs from our community.”
The DEA found that on Sept. 26 Perez-Garcia sent Suarez-Rangel to buy materials for cooking meth. Agents put the house, located at 790 Stephenson Road, under surveillance.
Later, police pulled over the men, described by the DEA as Mexican nationals living in the DeKalb area, and found 13.5 pounds of the drug. At the house, they found a “large” meth lab with about 300 pounds of liquid meth, along with 120 pounds of crystallized meth, the news release said.
That wasn’t all.
Agents also reportedly seized more than four pounds of heroin, more than six pounds of cocaine and $147,429 in cash according to AJC.
Agents believe the lab was capable of churning out 500-plus pounds of meth at a time and had been in business for a while.
Cedric Alexander, DeKalb public safety director, said the bust should have a “significant impact on the illegal drug trade.”