Deputies make largest meth seizure in Banks County history

Banks County deputies have arrested two people in what they say is the largest methamphetamine confiscation in the county's history.

In the course of a month-long investigation, the Bank County Sheriff's Office's Special Operation Unit arrested 20-year-old Juan Carlos Melchor-Valencia and 23-year-old Fernando Garcia Mendez on multiple drug trafficking charges.

Both men are from Santa Ana, California.

"We are accustomed to large quantities of drugs passing through our jurisdiction by way of the interstate," Sheriff Carlton Speed said in a statement. "However, this is a unique case because the Cartel essentially set up shop in Banks County."

Deputies seized 52.2 pounds of methamphetamine worth over $2.6 million, 6.9 pounds of cocaine worth $392,000, $22,000 in cash, and 10 firearms.

Police charged Melchor-Valencia with trafficking cocaine and methamphetamine and possession of marijuana. Mendez is charged with trafficking cocaine and methamphetamine, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, theft by receiving stolen property, obstruction of a law enforcement officer. possession of marijuana, and driving without a valid license.

Investigators also contacted ICE agents, which led to a detainer placed on Mendez.