JACKSONVILLE, Florida. – Multiple law enforcement agencies combined to seize more than 230 pounds of illegal marijuana in two separate traffic stops in northeast Florida and southeast Georgia recently.
The seizures were part of an effort by the Florida Highway Patrol, the Camden County Sheriff’s Office and the DEA.
Both drug seizures involved stopping a vehicle, but one involved authorities knowing the drugs were coming and waiting to move.
Eighty pounds of marijuana were seized during a traffic stop in the parking lot of a convenience store on Lane Avenue. Federal agents and the Florida Highway Patrol had information about trafficking a large amount of marijuana in Jacksonville and had previously identified a 27-year-old man as the suspected drug dealer who was driving a van with an expired license.
Since last year, reports of large shipments of illegal marijuana, either by air or transport to Jacksonville, have led to the seizure of more than 600 pounds.
And while the FHP and DEA intercept suspected drug dealers entering Jacksonville, the Camden County Sheriff’s Office has been forced to step up its patrols on I-95.
“In the past it was constant, but now it’s increasing, the movement of drug dealers along Interstate 95,” Camden County Sheriff’s Office Captain Larry Bruce said. “Just two weeks ago, we picked up 157 pounds of marijuana coming into Camden County for distribution throughout Southeast Georgia.”
The sheriff’s office said 157 pounds of illegal marijuana were hidden in crates in the back of a flatbed trailer. The seizure of this marijuana is the result of the truck being pulled over for a traffic violation. Two men were arrested and investigators say they were transporting the marijuana from Atlanta.
“We mainly see him coming from the Atlanta area. They go down secondary interstate highways and state highways, then bring into southeast Georgia. So yes, we are seeing an increase in the Atlanta area,” Bruce said.
And it’s not just marijuana they see on I-95, but also methamphetamine, fentanyl, cocaine and heroin.
Law enforcement said two of Mexico’s largest drug cartels, the Sinaloa and CJNG cartels, both use Atlanta as a regional drug distribution hub to supply drugs to the southeast. . First, the drugs are smuggled across the Mexican border and then flown or driven to Atlanta for distribution in the region, authorities said.
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