By Kathy Jefcoats
ELLENWOOD — Two men are being held in the Clayton County Jail without bond after police seized about 1,000 pounds of marijuana from an Anvil Block Road home.
Otoniel Ruelas Morales, 26, and Martin Mendoza Ruelas, 26, made their first appearances in Clayton County Magistrate Court Monday. Judge Allyson Pitts denied them bond for trafficking marijuana charges and set a $32,500 bond for each on charges of obstruction of an officer, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and theft by receiving stolen property.
The men, believed by law enforcement to be illegal immigrants, were provided an English to Spanish interpreter for the hearing. Pitts approved them for a public defender and set preliminary hearings April 2. They had no questions about the charges.
Warrants filed in Clayton County Magistrate Court show the men were arrested Sunday after law enforcement officers observed the house for about two weeks. When officers arrived about 4:37 p.m. Sunday in marked patrol cars with lights and sirens on and tried to make contact with the pair, they reportedly ran.
Officers gave chase and caught the men a short time later, according to warrants.
A search of the house uncovered about 1,000 pounds of marijuana and several thousands of dollars, said officers. Depending on the quality of the marijuana, the drugs had a potential street value of $1 million to $6 million, according to information from U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.
Officers also found 55-gallon trash bags with plastic and aluminum wrapping, heat sealers, digital scales and shrink wrap.
Police said the men were in possession of two handguns, a Glock and a Hi-Point. The Hi-Point had been reported stolen in Dillon, S.C., said police.