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BCSO makes historic drug bust

Authorities arrest Auburn woman with more than $2.2 million worth of opium

POSTED: August 20, 2014 2:43 p.m.
Special photo / For the Barrow County News/

Barrow County authorities say they found 200 packages of opium this month at an Auburn home.

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Barrow County authorities made the largest drug seizure in the county’s history after more than $2.2 million of opium were found at an Auburn home.

De Yang, 38, was arrested at her Auburn residence Aug. 5 after authorities say she signed for a package that contained 5,500 grams of opium. The Barrow County Sheriff’s Office was notified by the Department of Homeland Security of a suspicious package being shipped from Laos to Auburn.

The package was inspected by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol before it was delivered to  301 Oak Ridge.  Sheriff Jud Smith said this is the largest drug seizure to take place in Barrow County.

“Certainly with the street value being $2.2 million, we’ve never gotten close to that,” he said.

Smith said it’s uncommon to find someone in the county with more than four grams of opium because it leads to a charge of trafficking drugs.

Yang, who remains in the Barrow County Detention Center without bond, was charged with possession of opium, possession of opium with intent to distribute and trafficking in opium.

The investigation is ongoing as Barrow authorities continue to work with federal investigators. It’s likely that the opium shipment was part of a much larger network of people, Smith said.

“Opium is a schedule I drug, but it’s also the main ingredient in heroin,” he said. “We’ve seen an increase in heroin due to the fact that it’s cheaper to produce now.”

Schedule I drugs are substances or chemicals  that have no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse and are considered the most dangerous of drug schedules, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency’s website.



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