Suspicious packages at the Cairo post office contained marijuana with a street value reaching $90,000.
On Monday morning, officers seized and opened two packages containing a total of 20 pounds of the contraband. A third package to be opened Tuesday was believed to contain 10 pounds of marijuana.
The Thomas County/Thomasville Narcotics/Vice Division was notified Monday morning by a U.S. Postal Service inspector and Cairo police about a man — maybe two men — from Thomasville attempting to pick up packages at the Cairo post office.
“It was a suspicious package coming from Arizona,” Lee said, adding that the three packages had been shipped overnight. “We look for certain things from border states.”
A Brooks County canine unit was called to help. “It was the quickest dog we could get to assist us,” Lee explained.
The three packages were placed among other parcels of similar appearance. “The dog alerted on all three boxes,” Lee said.
A team of officers set up inside the post office to monitor recipients of the packages.
Lee said it had been learned Eric McCoy, 30, 810 Fletcher St., Thomasville, had been to the post office to check on the availability of one of the packages.
At 12:35 p.m. Monday, Tamarcus Sharpe, 28, 632 Marshall St., Thomasville, went to a post office counter and received two of the packages.
“Law enforcement officers inside approached (Mr.) Sharpe. (Mr.) Sharpe saw agents, threw down the boxes and attempted to run. He was apprehended by narcotics agents,” Lee said.
Sharpe, who ran out of flip-flops he was wearing, told officers he did not know what was in the boxes, but gave permission for the boxes to be searched.
Lee said the boxes were addressed to Sharpe’s friends and family members.
Officers found McCoy outside the post office in a rental car.
“When agents approached him, he had a small quantity of marijuana in his hand. He was arrested,” the commander said.
A small handgun with a loaded magazine was found in the trunk of the rental car. Also found were digital scales and gallon zip-type plastic bags commonly used to package marijuana for sale.
Both suspects, who are convicted felons, are charged with trafficking in marijuana, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. The suspects are being held in the Grady County Jail.
Lee said the third box remains in the U.S. Postal Service’s possession,
“We’re expecting about 30 pounds when we open the third box,” Lee said.
Dealer to dealer, marijuana has a value of $1,000 a pound. Depending on how it is broken down into $5 and $10 bags, the value would double or maybe triple, the commander explained.
“Most drug dealers want to at least double their money,” Lee said.
Each package had an A painted on it. The letter could be a drug cartel symbol or stand for Arizona.
The mid-grade contraband probably came from Mexico, Lee said.
Authorities are looking into how many other deliveries McCoy and Sharpe have received.
“It’s a pretty sneaky plan they had to get marijuana shipped to another county when they live in Thomas County,” the narcotics chief said.
The surveillance, canine unit and narcotics agency representing different law enforcement agencies worked together and ridded streets of 30 pounds of marijuana, Lee added.
Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 1820.