$3 million worth of cocaine, $530,000 cash seized in NC drug bust

(Chatham County Sheriff's Office_

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – Five men have been charged in connection with a high-level cocaine trafficking ring being operated out of a Chapel Hill home, the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office announced.

The Chatham County Sheriff’s Office teamed up with federal, state and local authorities to conduct a narcotics investigation at a home located at 131 Morton Road on Sept. 23. As a result of that investigation, authorities were able to confirm that a high-level cocaine operation was located at the address.

Authorities conducted a search of the home and Chatham Count deputies located and seized 38 kilograms of what they suspect is Cocaine Hydrochloride (HCl), the estimated street value of which is well over $3 million, the sheriff’s office said. Deputies also located and seized an estimated $530,000 dollars of U.S. currency, which was packaged, sealed and prepared for transport out of the country.

Other items seized include five guns, multiple rounds of various caliber ammunition, a commercial-grade currency counter, digital scales and several luxury vehicles, authorities said.

The five people charged in connection with the operation are Jose Manuel Elzaldo-Serrano, 39; Carlos Ocegyeda-Serrano, 41; Venusian Serrano-Mejia, 40; Fernado Rivera-Hernandez, 45; and Christian Manor Gomez-Santos, 30, of 131 Morton Road.

They were charged 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.

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

“Teamwork is the key to solving these complicated and extensive cases,” said Chatham County Sheriff Mike Roberson in a news release. “It takes a collective partnership with other local, state, and federal agencies and the community to identify and effectively respond to criminal activity.”