Two bound for trial after Department of Homeland Security task force raid in Austell

Doorway to courtroom in Cobb County Magistrate Court in gang articleEntrance to a Cobb County magistrate courtroom (photo by Larry Felton Johnson)

Juan DeJesus, 32, and Reyna Velez-Romero, 28, both of Austell, were bound over to Cobb County Superior Court for trial on charges of heroin trafficking and reckless conduct.  They were arrested during the execution of a search warrant by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Investigations and the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office Tactical team at a ranch house on Veterans Memorial Highway in Austell.

Department of Homeland Security conducts surveillance

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Officer Richard May, of the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office, assigned to the DHS task force, testified in Cobb County Magistrate Court this morning, with Judge Kellie Hill presiding.

He said that the task force had received word of illegal activity in the house, and conducted a week of surveillance before taking out a search warrant and entering the house on June 29.  The Sheriff’s Office tactical team entered the house first, and found the door to a spare room open.  They saw individually wrapped gallon-sized bags in the room.

DeJesus and Velez-Romero were in the house, along with a 2-year-old child.  A task force member opened one of the bags with a knife, field tested the contents, and weighed the bags.  The investigators determined the bags contained 8 kilograms of heroin.

Because the child had access to the room with the suspected heroin, the two adults were charged with reckless conduct in addition to the heroin trafficking charge.

Ray was questioned by Cobb County Assistant District Attorney Marc Cella, and defense attorneys Jeff Manciagli representing DeJesus, and Richard Grossman, representing Velez-Romero.  An interpreter translated the proceedings into Spanish for the suspects.

After hearing testimony Judge Hill determined that there was probable cause to bind both suspects over to Superior Court for trial.  No bond was set, as there was a hold on the suspects from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The incident report states that the child was taken by Sgt. Roberson of Crimes Against Children, and placed into protective custody with DFACS.

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Larry Felton Johnson
Larry Felton Johnson is the editor and publisher of the Cobb County Courier. He holds a degree in journalism from Georgia State University and enjoys exploring the county's trail and greenway network when he isn't covering county government meetings and court proceedings.

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