On April 12, 2012, authorities discovered the marijuana hidden under cilantro, peppers, and other green vegetables on Martin Luther King, Junior Boulevard in Gainesville, Florida.
“On its face, the truck contained pallets of produce, containing peppers, cactus and cilantro. Inside several of the pallets were what you see here,” Hall County Sheriff’s Lt. Scott Ware said at a press conference in April.
According to Access North Georgia, “They were caught before they even started. We had an undercover officer working so that there was no possibility that this marijuana was going to hit the streets of Gainesville,” Assistant United Statea Attorney Ellen Endrizzi said.
[pullquote align=”right”]“On its face, the truck contained pallets of produce, containing peppers, cactus and cilantro. Inside several of the pallets were what you see here,” Hall County Sheriff’s Lt. Scott Ware said at a press conference in April.[/pullquote]
Endrizzi said the case was open and shut for the prosecutor’s office.
Several agencies were involved in the bust; Homeland Security Investigations, Gainesville-Hall County Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad, County Sheriff’s SWAT Team, Gainesville Police Department and Hall County Sheriff’s Office uniform patrol divisions, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, FBI Safe Streets Task Force, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Georgia State Patrol, and Georgia State Patrol Aviation Division all worked to bring down the drug traffickers.
“Jose Luis Chavez-Morfin, 43, of Duluth was sentenced to five years, 10 months in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release, Zamudio-Martinez, 54, was sentenced to four years, two months in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release and Marco Ortiz-Barajas, 19, of Douglasville was sentenced to three years in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release,” the Gainesville Times reported.
“Today’s sentences are a reminder that drug trafficking carries with it serious consequences and that no community is immune from its presence or its potentially destructive effects,” United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said.
Three other men will face charges in Wichita, Kansas for their involvement in the crime. 47-year-old Calvin Elwood, 38-year-old Juventino Morfin-Mendoza and 45-year-old Jose Macias-Sanchez are expected to be tried at the county level.