Federal authorities have indicted a Georgia man accused in what’s believed to be the largest heroin bust in state history.
Antonio DaShawn Daniels, 46, was indicted Tuesday on federal charges of possession with the intent to distribute heroin, cocaine and marijuana, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia announced Wednesday.
Daniels, also known as “Freckleface Shawn,” is also charged with possession of a firearm “in furtherance of drug trafficking,” authorities said.
The feds arrested Daniels following a July 27 raid on two metro-Atlanta residences where he was known to deal drugs, according to prosecutors. In all, authorities seized 170 kilograms (about 374 pounds) of heroin, 10 kilograms of cocaine, 8 kilograms of marijuana and over $1 million in cash. More than 40 guns were also found.
Federal authorities said the seizure was valued at roughly $8.5 million, according to CNN.
“That’s a ridiculous amount of heroin,” Robert J. Murphy, special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Atlanta Field Division, said at a news conference Wednesday, the outlet reported. “I was stunned. I never in my entire 30-plus years of law enforcement would have ever expected to see this much heroin seized here in Atlanta.”
Daniels is suspected of working for a Mexican drug cartel and distributing the drugs in three Atlanta neighborhoods, Murphy told Atlanta station WSB-TV earlier this month. He said their investigation, alongside the FBI and state and local authorities, began in Mexico last year where they seized roughly $7 million in cash.
Authorities also found ledgers showing Daniels had accepted more than 1,000 kilograms of cocaine between August 2018 and October 2019, prosecutors said in a news release.
“The quantity of drugs, money, and firearms allegedly controlled by Daniels, 46, highlights the scale of heroin and cocaine trafficked into this community by local drug dealers with high-level ties to international drug trafficking organizations,” U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak said in a statement. “Daniels allegedly used these ties to flood this district with drugs and reap the financial benefits.”
“We will not tolerate the destruction of lives through the scourge of the drug trade,” Pak added.
The case against Daniels was presented as part of Operation SCOPE, a program launched by the U.S. Attorney’s Office aimed at fighting “the devastating effects that illegally-prescribed painkillers, heroin and synthetic opioids ... have on our neighborhoods,” prosecutors said.
Authorities said their investigation is ongoing and that more arrests could follow.
“Due to COVID, criminals think that police aren’t out there,” Pak told reporters, according to CNN. “This is a perfect example that we are out there to keep poison and dangerous materials off the streets.”