A Gainesville man was sentenced to more than 15 years in federal prison in connection to the Lenox Park Cartel, a group authorities said distributed 8,800 pounds of methamphetamine during a 10-month investigation.
Ruben Antonio Ruiz pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and possession of a firearm during a drug trafficking crime. He was sentenced to 181 months in federal prison Dec. 19.
Hall County Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad agents arrested 11 of 12 in 2016 following a federal grand jury indictment.
“In the 10 months during the course of the undercover investigation, the group led by Ruben Ruiz was believed to be responsible for the distribution of 4,000 kilograms, (8,800 pounds) of methamphetamine,” Lt. Scott Ware said at the time of Ruiz’s arrest.
There is also a stipulation of five years supervised release after incarceration.
“Upon completion of the term of imprisonment and release from the custody of the Bureau of Prisons, the defendant is to be turned over to a duly-authorized immigration official for appropriate removal proceedings from the United States,” according to Ruiz’s sentencing documents.
Fourteen people were indicted in the June 2016 superseding indictment, and most have taken plea deals.
The MANS unit applied for warrants in September 2015.
“The investigation focused on the criminal drug trafficking organization, informally known as the Lenox Park Cartel. Several of the suspects resided and/or furthered their criminal activity in the subdivision in Gainesville ... known as Lenox Park, as well as other areas in Hall County and Stephens County,” Ware wrote in a news release.
At the time of the March 2016 arrests, search warrants led to the seizure of roughly 20 pounds of methamphetamine, a half-pound of cocaine, 6 pounds of marijuana, 16 firearms and seven cars.
“The street value of the drugs seized was estimated at a cumulative value of $896,000.00 of methamphetamine, $12,000 of marijuana, and $22,400 worth of cocaine,” Ware said.