A crackdown on drug cartels in Gwinnett County, Ga., has led to a trafficking jam in court, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Local-federal task force investigations that resulted in hundreds of arrests have spawned huge multi-defendant cases that are now clogging the docket. The largest and most daunting case involves 71 defendants allegedly connected to the Mexican La Familia drug cartel. La Familia controls most of the U.S. crystal methamphetamine market . Last October, authorities seized 174 pounds of crystal meth and arrested 35 people throughout metro Atlanta after raiding a house containing one of the cartel’s labs.
District Attorney Danny Porter is still trying to clear the logistic and budgetary hurdles associated with prosecuting the larger cases. “We may be trying these cases in the auditorium,” Porter said. The total cost of the trials is virtually incalculable. Porter asked for $233,813 in county funds in 2008 to hire two new staffers and create a four-person drug task force.