HCSO: 5 arrests, thousands of $$$ in illegal drugs seized

Hall County authorities are reporting the recent arrests of five people on drug charges and the seizure of nearly $20,000 worth of illegal drugs.


“Agents with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Hall County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) Special Investigations Unit (SIU) seized illegal drugs worth approximately $17,300 on the street and arrested three suspects during an undercover investigation in Oakwood this week.

Investigators made contact with three individuals in a minivan near Thurmon Tanner Parkway and GA 53/Winder Highway on Tuesday evening, Feb. 13. Agents found the man and two women in possession of roughly 230 grams of methamphetamine, which was packaged for distribution. The trio had two suspected fentanyl pills, a stolen handgun, two scales and a small amount of cash.

Investigators arrested Tina Ta Bui, 26, of Augusta, Ignacio Mondragon, 30, of Gainesville, and Peggy Lynn Vieira, 39, of Gainesville. Each suspect faces the following felony charges:

•                     Trafficking methamphetamine

•                     Possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute

•                     Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon

•                     Theft by receiving

Additionally, investigators charged Bui and Mondragon with one count each of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime (felony). Mondragon alone is charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana.

All three individuals remained in the Hall County Jail without bond on Friday afternoon, Feb. 16.

The HSI and SIU investigation is continuing.’


“Two people were arrested following a traffic stop in South Hall County just after 12 a.m. Thursday, February 15, 2024.

A Hall County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) deputy stopped an SUV traveling northbound on I-985 near the Spout Springs Road exit when he noticed the vehicle had a malfunctioning taillight and the vehicle was failing to maintain its lane of travel. There were three adult occupants in the vehicle.

Prompted by an odor of marijuana, the deputy searched the vehicle and the two male passengers. A female deputy arrived at the scene to search the female driver.

During the search of one of the passengers, identified as Ira Gregory Earls, 47, of Flowery Branch, the deputy found a bag containing approximately 30 grams of methamphetamine. The search also turned up drug paraphernalia (scales and a mirror) belonging to Mr. Earls. In addition, Mr. Earls resisted arrest by grabbing the bag of narcotics and pulling away from the deputy.

The driver, identified as Mindy Elizabeth Chattin, 52, of Dahlonega, was found in possession of less than an ounce of marijuana as well as a glass smoking device with white residue consistent with meth usage.

Mr. Earls was charged with possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, trafficking in methamphetamine, possession of drug-related objects and obstruction-resisting arrest. Ms. Chattin was charged with possession of less than an ounce of marijuana and possession of drug-related objects. She received traffic citations for taillight violation, failure to maintain lane and driving without a license.

The third occupant of the vehicle was not charged.”