GAINESVILLE, Ga. - Almarud Duarte, David Garcia, Kevin Tello, and Eduardo Penaloza-Pacheco have been indicted for allegedly conspiring to sell methamphetamine by the kilogram. When law enforcement searched their residences, they seized approximately 200 kilograms of methamphetamine, the bulk of it coming from Garcia’s residence in Duluth.
“This case highlights the great work resulting from a partnership between federal law enforcement and state/local authorities,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine. “We believe countless lives have been saved now that this meth is not plaguing our communities.”
“This is a significant amount of poison that will not make it into our communities, driving crime and violence,” said Special Agent in Charge Katrina W. Berger, who oversees Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) operations in Georgia and Alabama. “HSI and its law enforcement partners are committed to finding arresting and prosecuting everyone involved in this illicit trade.”
“Removing these four defendants from our streets for their alleged drug trafficking activity, immediately makes our communities safer,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “The FBI and our federal, state and local law enforcement partners work tirelessly to rid communities of dangerous drugs that threaten our citizens lives.”
“When investigations like these have such extraordinary outcomes, they make headlines, and rightly so,” said Hall County Sheriff Gerald Couch. “Drugs taken off the streets and criminals in jail can only make our communities safer. I do, however, want to commend our MANS Unit agents and assisting agencies for the extremely hard work they put into the case. Without these men and women, the headlines wouldn’t be possible.”
“The Georgia State Patrol will continue working collaboratively with our local, state, and federal partners in identifying and arresting people who purchase and distribute illegal drugs. This case represents teamwork among all the agencies involved and demonstrates law enforcement’s commitment to getting dangerous drugs off the streets of our communities,” said Lt. W. Mark Riley, Georgia Department of Public Safety, Georgia State Patrol.
According to Acting U.S. Attorney Erskine, the indictment, and other information presented in court: From May 2021 to August 2021, Almarud Duarte allegedly sold methamphetamine by the kilogram, shortly after obtaining the methamphetamine from Kevin Tello or David Garcia. On June 28, 2021, Eduardo Penaloza-Pacheco allegedly sold a kilogram of methamphetamine, shortly after obtaining the methamphetamine from Kevin Tello.
Almarud Duarte, 25, of Oakwood, Georgia, David Garcia, 40, of Duluth, Georgia, Kevin Tello, 26, of Lawrenceville, Georgia, and Eduardo Penaloza-Pacheco, 36, of Gainesville, Georgia, were indicted on October 26.2021. Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges. The defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
This case is being investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Safe Streets Task Force, the Gwinnett Metro Task Force, the DEA, the Hall County Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad, and the Georgia State Patrol.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Keen is prosecuting the case.
This investigation is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Atlanta recommends parents and children learn about the dangers of drugs at the following web site: www.justthinktwice.gov.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.
Department of Justice
Office of the U.S. Attorney
Northern District of Georgia