DEA shows off largest heroin bust in Georgia’s history; ‘prolific’ CJNG dealer was involved

 “MM” for Borderland Beat

DEA displays narcotics seized by the network Atlanta-based CJNG dealer Antonio Dashawn Daniels

ATLANTA — Just a week after Channel 2’s Mark Winne reported on the DEA’s biggest heroin bust in Georgia history, we now know the details on what happened. The DEA, FBI and U.S Attorney’s office held a news conference Wednesday afternoon to show and explain what they found: Roughly 170 kilos of heroin, 41 guns and nearly $1 million in cash were recovered at two Atlanta locations.

Agents said their main suspect, Antonio Dashawn Daniels was working for a Mexican drug cartel and was supplying the drugs to three area neighborhoods, including the Bluff. According to DEA Agent in Charge Robert Murphy, the investigation actually started in Mexico where the DEA along with the FBI and other partners were able to seize some $7 million in cash. They were able to use the information from that raid to track things back to Atlanta.

Agents also announced they found about 10 kilos of cocaine in the two raids and found a ledger showing Daniels at one point received nearly 1,000 kilos of cocaine during a 14 month time period.

“Is this the biggest heroin seizure in Georgia history?” Winne asked Murphy. “Oh, by far. Nowhere even close to this amount have we seen before,” Murphy said.

“Basically we took off a ruthless violent group who is responsible for selling poison throughout our streets in the city of Atlanta,” Murphy said.

Agents laid out their case against Daniels, explaining how they believe he became the primary connection between Atlanta and one of the Mexico’s most dangerous cartels, Cartel Jalisco New Generation (CJNG).

“This investigation has tied all the way up to the highest level of cartel activities in Mexico”, said B.J. Pak, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia. Murphy also said Daniels had been previously arrested in a gun case and that agents and investigators believe in the six years since his supervised release ended, Daniels has become one of the most prolific heroin and cocaine dealers in the Northern District of Georgia.

“This can permeate through any community in metro Atlanta throughout the state of Georgia and beyond,” said FBI agent Chris Hacker. Attorney Dwight Thomas says he’s representing Daniels in this case and anticipates he’ll plead not guilty Friday at his preliminary hearing Friday. Thomas told Winne on the phone, once the hearing is over, he’ll begin to assess all aspects of the case.

Atlanta CJNG dealer charged

ATLANTA – Antonio DaShawn Daniels has been indicted on federal charges related to possession with the intent to distribute heroin, cocaine, and marijuana, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.

“The quantity of drugs, money, and firearms allegedly controlled by Daniels highlights the scale of heroin and cocaine trafficked into this community by local drug dealers with high-level ties to international drug trafficking organizations,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak.  “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.”

“The arrest of Daniels, along with the seizure of hundreds of kilograms of drugs, dozens of guns, and more than a million dollars in cash, represents a significant victory for DEA, our law enforcement partners, and – most of all – for the people of Atlanta,” said Acting Administrator Timothy J. Shea.

“This case illustrates the devastating impact that violence fueled by drug trafficking can have on our communities.  Drug traffickers, and the organizations they work with, use fear and violence to enrich themselves with little regard for the communities they destroy in the process. The DEA stands resolute with our law enforcement partners to protect the health, safety, and security of the American people.”

“Our community and our citizens are safer today because of the removal of a massive amount of drugs, weapons and cash that were destined to destroy lives,” said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “The FBI values our partnerships with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. These results would not be possible without them.”

“This poly-drug trafficker brazenly continued his drug trafficking activities despite having served time in federal prison for drug distribution. His arrest removes yet another dangerous criminal from our streets and sends a clear message to others who may choose to follow the same perilous path. DEA, its law enforcement partners and the U.S. Attorney’s Office will relentlessly pursue and ultimately prosecute criminals like Daniels,” said Robert J. Murphy

According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the charges, and other information presented in court: In October 2019, federal agents uncovered ledgers from a Mexico-based drug trafficking organization showing that Daniels received just over 1,000 kilograms of cocaine between August 2018 and October 2019.

The ledgers reflected that Daniels returned more than $31 million in drug proceeds to the organization that were eventually transported to Mexico. During the investigation, federal agents identified multiple apartments and homes in the metro-Atlanta area that Daniels allegedly used to prepare and distribute drugs.

On July 27, 2020, agents executed federal search warrants at those locations, which resulted in Daniels’ arrest and the seizure of a large amount of drugs, money, and weapons.

Sources: WSB-TV and USDOJ