The 23 pounds of marijuana seized Saturday in Thomas County is a perfect example of how illegal drugs get into the United States.
Local lawmen learned a Champagned-colored Chevrolet Silverado would travel through Thomas County transporting illegal narcotics.
An alert was issued, and a Thomasville Post 12 Georgia State Patrol trooper stopped the vehicle on U.S. 319 North. The officer detected a strong odor of marijuana as he approached the truck.
Thomas County/Thomasville Narcotics/Vice Division agents arrived and removed the driver, Sergio Esduardo Gomez-Delgado, 30, 507 Orange Ave., Crescent City, Fla.
“They were actually spraying Febreze in the vehicle when the trooper got to the window, but the trooper could smell the strong odor of marijuana,” said Kevin Lee, narcotics/vice commander.
Jose Rosario Lira-Correa, 32, 124 Temple Drive, Crescent City, and Rose Maria Guadarrama, 34, 218 Jaffa Road, Crescent City, were passengers in the Silverado.
Bundles of compressed marijuana wrapped in clear plastic were found concealed in the back seat area of the truck. Each bundle weighed more than 11 pounds.
“We seized $1,840 from Guadarrama. We seized $1,840 from Gomez-Delgada,” Lee said. “Each had the same denominations of currency and the same amount.”
Lee thinks the money was payment for going to Houston, Texas, to pick up the marijuana and bringing it back to this area. One of the suspects told agents the trio was en route to a neighboring county.
From Lira-Correa, agents seized $577. The 1999 Silverado also was seized.
Dealer to dealer, each bundle of marijuana would have had a value of $1,100, or $24,200. Broken down for street sales, the contraband would have had a value of close to $50,000.
Suspects are charged with trafficking in marijuana. They were denied bond and remain behind bars at the Thomas County Jail.
Lee said the pot bust is a perfect example of how a a drug cartel smuggles contraband from Mexico to states — usually Texas — that border the country.
Hispanics who have relatives and/or others who live and work in the United States help transport illegal drugs, the commander explained.
“And it is not only Hispanics,” Lee added.
Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820.