'This would've poisoned hundreds of people:’ 24 lbs of meth seized in DeKalb County drug bust

Agents seized 24 lbs of meth being stored in a cooler.

Posted: Sep 10, 2019 9:05 PM
Updated: Sep 11, 2019 8:43 AM

The DeKalb County Sheriff's Office released more information on Tuesday about one of the largest meth busts in the county. 

Agents seized 24 lbs of meth being stored in a cooler.

Credit: DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office

David Jose Topete and Anthony Guthrie; Credit: DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office

"It's probably, actually, one of the biggest ever in the history of DeKalb County Narcotics Unit," Sheriff Nick Welden said.

Narcotics officers recovered the meth last week on Highway 35, between Rainsville and Fort Payne.

"This would've poisoned hundreds of people," Welden said.

The sheer amount of drugs makes this arrest stand out, but Welden says it's a first for new initiatives in his office.

"This was the first stop where we deployed our K9s," he said.

New, specialty-trained K9s completed their training just in time.

"With their advanced training, we were able to recover a large amount of narcotics in a very professional, sealed manner," Welden said.

The narcotics unit worked with authorities in Madison and Jackson counties to arrest Anthony Guthrie of Scottsboro and David Topete of Mexico. 

Sheriff Welden says it completes a six-month investigation. He says restructuring the narcotics unit makes it easier to communicate with other agencies.

"We all worked together to coordinate this and make it happen," he said.

People WAAY 31 talked with on Tuesday said they're not surprised this amount of meth was in the county. One man said he's glad he voted for Sheriff Welden.

"We got a good sheriff, I reckon. That's what I heard about him when I voted for him," Mike Washington, a DeKalb County resident, said.

The sheriff also said this is the first time in years, they've seen counties working together like this. He said more arrests in nearby counties could be on the way.

The suspects are being held on a $1 million bond each, but could see federal charges added soon.

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