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Multi-county drug probe leads to three arrests

POSTED: March 24, 2014 8:18 p.m.
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Antonio Garcia

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SAVANNAH — Three people were arrested Thursday following a six-month investigation into illegal drug sales, including some that originated from Effingham County.

Antonio Garcia, 35, Justino Santana-Mantano, 30, and Humberto Santana-Mantano, 27, were arrested after they traveled to Savannah to sell cocaine to an undercover agent, according to the Chatham-Savannah Counter Narcotics Team.

Investigators said the three men were in possession of more than one kilogram of cocaine, which has an estimated street value of up to $42,000.

“They had the kilo of cocaine on them when they came to sell the drugs to my agent,” said Chatham-Savannah CNT Director Everette Ragan.

Garcia was the main target of the investigation, Ragan said. Garcia lived for a time in Effingham County before moving to Bryan County.

“Over the course of several months, while he was living in Effingham or Bryan County, we were able to purchase drugs from him,” Ragan said. “He would bring the drugs to Chatham County.”

Garcia and Humberto Santana-Mantano were both charged with trafficking cocaine and Justino Santana-Mantano was charged with being a party to cocaine trafficking. They are being held at the Chatham County Detention Center.

All three men are in the U.S. illegally, according to investigators.

The Effingham County Sheriff’s Office, Bryan County Sheriff’s Office and Drug Enforcement Administration assisted the Chatham-Savannah Counter Narcotics Team in the investigation.

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