Georgia inmates charged in drug trafficking conspiracy

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – Federal prosecutors say two Georgia prison inmates helped direct a methamphetamine trafficking operation in northeastern Alabama from behind bars.

State and local officials said Monday that eight people now face indictment for a conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine.

Georgia prison inmates Jose Balcazar and Miguel Manriquez are among those facing conspiracy charges. Federal officials say the men used contraband cellphones to communicate with at least eight people in Alabama and Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Federal officials say Manriquez is serving a life sentence on a 2003 murder conviction and Balcazar is serving a 30-year sentence on a 2007 methamphetamine trafficking conviction. It is unclear from court records if either man has an attorney.

U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance of Alabama says the conspiracy supplied methamphetamine in northeast Alabama for at least two years.

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