Major drug trafficker busted in Thomas Co. -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Major drug trafficker busted in Thomas Co.

COOLIDGE, GA (WALB) - The Thomas County Narcotics Division was notified last week by authorities in Tift and Colquitt Counties about Edilberto Lazaro Rivera. Agents say the 53-year old had Moultrie and Thomas County addresses.

Lawmen from Tift, Colquitt, and Thomas Counties, along with DEA and GBI, set up surveillance on Rivera's Mary Owens Road home near Coolidge.

Drug agents stopped Rivera on Highway 188 near Parramore Road outside of Coolidge.

Rivera, who did not have a valid driver's license, gave officers permission to search the 2002 Nissan Sentra he was driving. "Inside a child's booster seat in the back seat we found where he had altered the top of the car seat where you can open it. We found a kilo of cocaine," said Narcotics Commander Kevin Lee.

Agents say from dealer to dealer the coke would have been worth about $35,000, but it would be double that on the street. "So whoever would have been buying it would have sold it in smaller quantities and probably would have added a cutting agent to it and would have made it stretch out more and have more cocaine. So it's a very significant amount of cocaine taken off the streets," said Lee.

Colquitt County officers went to the suspect's Moultrie residence and found about $43,000 in cash.

Rivera, who was denied bond and remains in the Thomas County Jail, is charged with trafficking in cocaine.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has a hold on Rivera who told authorities he is from Mexico and is in this country illegally.

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