A month-long probe by the Columbus Police Department’s Vice and Narcotics Unit and the Special Operations Unit has led to the seizure of $1 million worth of cocaine , $24,000 in cash, two vehicles and assorted guns, Police Chief Ricky Boren said Tuesday.
Two men are charged in connection with the ongoing investigation, the chief said. They were identified as Kenneth James, 49, of Phenix City and Marcus Terrell Marshall, 33, of Columbus. James is charged with trafficking in cocaine while Marshall also is charged with trafficking, fleeing to elude police, obstruction of a police officer and a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. They are held in the Muscogee County Jail for a 2 p.m. Wednesday hearing in Recorder’s Court.
The chief said the investigation started Sept. 20 with a joint effort with the Drug Enforcement Administration , the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to buy 10 kilograms of cocaine. On Monday, the Special Operations Unit along with the GBI and other law enforcement arrested two suspects on the charges.
During the investigation, police seized the 24.5 pounds of powdered cocaine valued at up to $1 million. It is one of the biggest drug busts at the department. Police also seized a 2001 Mercedes Benz S-5Z, a 2011 BMW X-5 and 24,000 in cash. The four guns included a semi-automatic assault-type rifle, 12-gauge shotgun and two pistols. The cash and guns were found in a house but no location was disclosed.
“This is an ongoing investigation,” the chief said. “It is not complete. What you are seeing now is a small part of what we hope to accomplish at a later time.”
Boren said the cocaine, found in a vehicle, was headed for the streets of Columbus and across the Chattahoochee River to Phenix City. The drug was seized at an undisclosed location on the street.
James and Marshall have previous federal convictions for trafficking in cocaine, police said.
The chief recognized the efforts of Capt. Charles Kennedy, Sgt. Andy Farmer and Cpl. Will Bassett of the Special Operations Unit along with GBI Special Agent Joe Chesnut of the West Georgia Regional Drug Task Force, Columbus offices of the DEA and FBI.