Ruben Ramos-Mendez, 37, of 2932 Vine Drive, who investigators with the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office say is the owner of Los Caporales Mexican Restaurant at 603 Fleming St., was charged Monday with possession with intent to distribute cocaine and trafficking in cocaine.
Also charged with possession with intent to distribute cocaine and trafficking in cocaine were restaurant employees Luis Antonio Sierra, 22, of 119 Hollywood Drive, and Lorenzo Terrazas-Garcia, 39, also of 119 Hollywood Drive. The woman, Esmerelda Rubi Sierra, 21, also of 119 Hollywood Drive, is not an employee but had the same charges filed against her.
Capt. Rick Swiney said Luis Sierra and Esmerelda Sierra are married and live at a “stash house” used by the group to store the drugs at 119 Hollywood Drive, which is about a quarter-mile from the restaurant.
“As the result of a six-month cocaine distribution investigation three search warrants were simultaneously executed on Monday,” Sheriff Scott Chitwood said in a press release. “At approximately 11:15 a.m., the warrants were executed at Los Caporales Mexican Restaurant, a residence used as a ‘stash house’ located at 119 Hollywood Drive and a residence located at 2932 Vine Drive. The target of the investigation was the Los Caporales restaurant.”
Chitwood said the undercover operation was initiated in September 2011 when the sheriff’s office received information that Ramos-Mendez was distributing cocaine from the restaurant.
“Eight purchases of cocaine were made during the course of the investigation,” Chitwood said. “The purchases were made from Ruben Ramos-Mendez, Luis Sierra (a.k.a. Paquiao), and a third individual still being sought. Ramos acted as the boss, directing the illegal cocaine transactions at and from the restaurant.”
The search warrants resulted in the seizure of approximately 12 additional ounces of cocaine from the restaurant and stash house, and a total of more than $12,000 in cash from the three locations. Also seized were three handguns and a Chevrolet Silverado truck, Chitwood added.
Investigators determined Ramos kept the majority of the cocaine stored at the residence of Luis Sierra at 119 Hollywood Drive, and that he participated in the cocaine transactions. Esmeralda Sierra also participated by transporting cocaine from their residence to the restaurant when a transaction was to take place. Lorenzo Terrazas-Garcia, who resides at the stash house on Hollywood Drive and had knowledge of the cocaine being stored there, was also arrested.
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