Multi-county bust 1,200 pounds of pot'

By Michael Davis

More than 1,200 pounds of marijuana with a street value of $2.5 million was confiscated by authorities in Henry and Clayton counties.

An investigation that began in Henry County ended up in Clayton County Thursday evening with authorities snagging an estimated $1.5 million in marijuana, police said.

The investigation began when Henry narcotics agents intercepted a large amount of marijuana during a drug operation, said Henry County police spokesman Lt. Jason Bolton.

"That led to another location where they executed a search warrant," he said.

At that unspecified location in the McDonough area, Henry police found more drugs along with drug paraphernalia and documents which led them to two storage facilities in Clayton County, Bolton said.

Lake City Police and Clayton County's Drug Task Force along with Henry County K-9s searched the two storage facilities and found more marijuana, he said.

No arrests had been made as of Friday evening but Bolton said the investigation is continuing and police expect to arrest several in the operation.

Bolton said more information about the case would be available at a later date.

In Clayton County, authorities working on a tip from Houston descended on a truck and found 470.5 pounds of pot with a value of $1.035 million, said Clayton County Police Capt. Jeff Turner.

Turner said no arrests have been made. By the time they descended on the truck the driver was gone.

The confiscation occurred at the Saia Trucking Co. lot at 2765 Anvil Block Road in Ellenwood. The truck was out of San Diego, Calif., but Turner said he is not sure how Houston authorities knew it was loaded with drugs. Authorities were able to track its progress up the interstates toward Clayton County and then two K9 dogs sniffed out the truck and agents from the Clayton County Task Force popped open the doors of the truck to find the mountain of drugs.

"Interstates 20 and 75 continue to be a pipeline for drugs coming into this area," Turner said.

There was also a second marijuana bust in Henry Thursday.

Henry County police seized 25 pounds of marijuana in a traffic stop Thursday on Interstate 75.

Wayne O'Brian White, 34, of Tampa, Fla., was charged with failure to maintain his lane and trafficking in marijuana in connection with the incident.

Henry County Police Officer Mike Freeman stopped White on the highway near the 212-mile marker around 10:56 a.m. in connection with the failure to maintain the lane charge.

"During the course of their investigation they determined the need for a K-9 search," Bolton said.

A police K-9 drug dog detected the drugs inside the black 1999 Ford F-150 that White was driving.

White was also wanted on previous drug charges and initially gave a false name to the officers who stopped him. Bolton said he didn't have more information on the previous drug charges except that they were from another agency.

The last drug seizure of this size made on Henry County's part of I-75 was in 2003, Bolton said.

In December, Henry County police seized four pounds of marijuana in one traffic stop and the same day, several ounces of crack cocaine and marijuana along with a handgun and several hundred dollars in a separate traffic-related bust.

Staff writer Ed Brock contributed to this article.