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Two caught with marijuana on I-75

By Jason A. Smith

jsmith@henryherald.com

A middle Georgia pair is behind bars without bond in Henry County, after reportedly being caught with marijuana while traveling on Interstate 75.

Henry County Police Capt. Jason Bolton said the estimated value of the drugs, is $115,000.

Jontae Alana Martina Gunnell, 23, of Fort Valley, and Dontez Antonia Laney, 24, of Marshalville, are charged with trafficking marijuana. They appeared in Henry County Magistrate Court Friday, without attorneys.

Judge Robert Godwin reset preliminary hearings in their cases for Aug. 25. He said he did so to enable Gunnell and Laney to hire lawyers to represent them.

The duo was arrested by Henry County Police Thursday, at the 211 mile marker on I-75 southbound, in Locust Grove. Bolton said an officer conducted a traffic stop for a 2007 Honda Accord, in which the suspects were traveling, around 7 p.m.

"Upon making contact with both occupants, the officer detected the odor of raw marijuana emanating from the vehicle," Bolton said. "The officer then conducted a search of the vehicle, and located a suitcase containing one bale -- 21 pounds -- of marijuana and two one-pound bags of marijuana. Both occupants ... were placed under arrest for trafficking marijuana."

According to an arrest warrant for Laney, obtained by police in Magistrate Court, Laney "did have in [his] possession ... marijuana in a quantity of 23 pounds or more," in violation of the Georgia Controlled Substances Act.

A separate warrant, for Gunnell, contains identical language to that of her co-defendant.