Savannah-area law enforcement says a traffic stop in Laurens County this summer was a key to a major drug investigation in two states.
At a Savannah news conference Monday, they said Laurens sheriff deputies seized about 50 pounds of cocaine during that July 3rd traffic stop on I-16.
They say deputies stopped two drug dealers who were driving the coke to Savannah.
Drug investigators for the Savannah-Chatham County Counter Narcotics Team said they've busted three separate drug rings, in coastal Georgia and South Carolina, with the help of other agencies.
They said they've charged a total of 39 suspects...and collected nearly 3 million dollars worth of drugs.
A news release from the Chatham-Savannah Counter Narcotics Team says the 20-month investigation found three separate drug rings, mostly operating in Savannah.
Besides the cocaine, the largest amount seized in the task force's history, law enforcement also took in marijuana and other controlled substances, more than $200,000 in cash and numerous firearms, the release says.
The case led to searches at more than 15 homes in Georgia and South Carolina.
All three drug rings have been dismantled, the narcotics team says.
Also scheduled to take part in Monday's news conference are the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Savannah Office, McIntosh County Sheriff's Office, Darien Police Department and the Beaufort, South Carolina Sheriff's Office.