updated 8/22/2006 3:12:45 PM ET 2006-08-22T19:12:45

Federal officials have made a “record-breaking seizure” of crystal methamphetamine buried in the back yard of a rural home that they say was used by a Mexican-based drug ring.

Drug Enforcement Administration agents found 187½ pounds of suspected meth and about 90 pounds of suspected cocaine during a search last week, said DEA special agent Sherri Strange said Monday.

She called it the third-largest meth seizure in the U.S. this year, with an estimated street value of $25 million to $50 million.

Agents charged four men — two of them residents of Mexico — with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and cocaine. All four were captured during the raid at the home in Buford, 33 miles northeast of Atlanta.

Officials said the operation was part of a Mexican drug ring that distributes large quantities of meth and cocaine from Mexico by moving it through California and Texas to points throughout the U.S.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Bill Thomas said the seizure “underscores the increasing significance that Atlanta plays in the world of drug trafficking.”

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