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UNION COUNTY, NC (WBTV) -
Four men were arrested on drug charges after a joint investigation into a multi-county drug operation, according to the Union County Sheriff's Office.
Detectives with the Union County Sheriff's Office arrested three men in the county, charging them with trafficking controlled substances and felony conspiracy. A fourth man was arrested in Moore County, as part of the same drug incident, deputies said.
Sheriff's Deputies participated in a joint investigation involving the Moore County Sheriff's Office, Monroe Police Department, and the Marshville Police Department on Wednesday. A buy/bust operation conducted by Union County officers based on information provided by Moore County deputies led to the three Union County arrests.
An additional large seizure of crystal meth was made in Moore County as well, and was linked to this same criminal investigation, officials said.
Wednesday night, Moore County Sheriff's investigators contacted authorities in Union County after an undercover drug investigation there led to the arrest of a man from Union County. Based on information provided by Moore County Officers, Union County Deputies uncovered ties to two residential addresses, one in Marshville and one in Monroe.
Authorities searched a home on East Village Drive in Monroe Wednesday night, gathering information and seizing drug paraphernalia in the process. A similar search was conducted simultaneously on Unarco Drive in Marshville, where Marshville Police and Sheriff's Deputies took two men into custody and seized over one pound of crystal methamphetamine, $8,975 in cash, three handguns, and one rifle.
The drugs, officials said, had a $46,000 street value.
Antonio Gaytan Lopez, 29, of Marshville, and Octavio Valdez Villa, 26, of Monroe were charged in connection with these searches.
As the investigation continued to unfold overnight, officers were led to draw a search warrant for a third residence, located on East Lawyers Rd., north of Marshville, the report states.
Inside the residence, officers confiscated 745 pounds of packaged marijuana and four firearms. The current street value of the type and quantity of marijuana found is $3.278 million.
Alton Devonne Greene, 60, was charged after the third search with trafficking marijuana by possession, maintaining a dwelling for keeping or selling controlled substances, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
The men arrested all have court dates in late February or early March.