By Daniel Silliman
Clayton County Police narcotics officers seized 540 pounds of marijuana at a trucking depot.
Working off a tip from an Atlanta Police Department investigation, in conjunction with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Clayton agents watched as a crate was delivered from California to Southeastern Freight Lines.
The crate was labeled for delivery to Jon's Auto Distribution, in Tucker, Ga., but police knew the company didn't exist and the address was fictitious.
A 34-year-old man, Anthony Dumas, of New York City, picked up the crate in a white panel van and was arrested and charged with trafficking marijuana, police said.
"This is not the first large shipment he's received," Clayton County Police Chief Jeff Turner said.
Narcotics agents believe the marijuana was grown in Mexico, freighted across the gulf to a Florida location, shipped to California and then, back east, to Atlanta.
Turner said the Clayton police -- who have often caught narcotics shipments going up the highways through Atlanta and to northeast cities -- have seen a rise in drug shipments going through trucking depots, since airline security tightened after the terrorist attacks in 2001.
The 10 bundles of marijuana were wrapped in cellophane and colored contact paper. Police seized them on Tuesday, but did not release the information until their follow-up investigations were finished.
Turner said Dumas, who has a criminal record of drug-and violence-related charges in New York, was probably mid-level, in the drug organization, probably just "the pick-up man."
Dumas asked for a lawyer, when arrested, and did not cooperate with police.
The shipment has an estimated street value of $540,000, according to police.
"We're taking it off the street, crippling somebody's business, and hopefully driving somebody out of business," Turner said.
"With this type of [multi-agency] cooperation, there won't be any places for criminals, especially drug dealers, to hide. We are working together to eradicate the problems that plague our society."