By Monica Land
JACKSON – Enforcement officers with the Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) stopped an 18-wheeler for a routine weight and safety check and discovered at least 500 pounds of marijuana.
MDOT officials said the incident occurred around 3:45 p.m. on Dec. 12. The officers stopped a 1999 Freightliner tractor and van trailer at the eastbound I-59 Lauderdale inspection facility, for a routine weight, safety and paperwork inspection.
The officers inspected the van trailer and found 24 large plastic wrapped bundles of marijuana weighing approximately 500 pounds. The street value was approximately $500,000.
The trailer was transporting black plastic pellets to Georgia.
The source and destination of the marijuana is currently being investigated by the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics and MDOT Enforcement. The tractor and trailer were impounded pending the results of the investigation.
Arturo Garcia, 35, of Channelview, Texas was charged with possession of marijuana and placed in the Lauderdale County Jail pending arraignment.
“We appreciate the diligence of our law enforcement officers,” said Central District Transportation Commissioner Dick Hall. “We are proud of their continued efforts in seizing contraband before it impacts our communities.”
Chief Willie Huff, MDOT Director of Enforcement, stated, “I am very proud of our officers and their diligence. We must continue our vigilance for all types of contraband before it reaches our streets or impacts our Homeland Security.”