LIGONIER — A Ligonier man was arrested Saturday on charges of dealing cocaine following a five-month investigation.

Gerardo Macias, 31, of the 500 block of West Union Street, Ligonier, was arrested on the Level 2 felony charge at 9:10 p.m. Saturday by Ligonier police.

A Level 2 felony carries a sentencing range of 10-30 years.

Saturday’s arrest capped a busy week of drug-related enforcement in the Ligonier area. Last Monday, police arrested six people — Kitty Hasse; Tony L. Skaggs; Tony J. Skaggs; Kursty Fugate; Bradley Davis and Pedro Macias — on drug charges.

Saturday’s arrest came as the result of a joint operation between the Elkhart County Interdiction and Covert Enforcement Unit, the Noble County Sheriff’s Department Narcotics Division, the Ligonier Police Department and the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration.

Undercover officers allegedly made multiple purchases of cocaine from Macias at numerous locations in the Ligonier area through the course of the investigation, according to an operative with the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration. According to court documents, two of those alleged sales involved approximately 28 grams, or 1 ounce, of cocaine.

The operative called the amount of cocaine Macias was allegedly dealing “significant.”

There are 28 grams in an ounce, and the operative said street-level dealers sell single grams of the drug.

The operative said Macias was likely only two or three rungs away from the cartels which smuggle the drug across the southern border.

Pedro Macias and Gerardo Macias are not related, according to police.

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