The detectives videotaped several suspects helping unload the bales and put them in a 2005 Yukon Denali, which then drove to 1348 Nicole Lane in Rutherford County where the detectives arrested two of the suspects.
They also confiscated the marijuana and the Yukon, a 1999 Ford F-150 and a Chevy S-10 truck, Ashe said.
Also confiscated at the time were several flat-screen televisions and items of personal property.
Ashe said the only information he can release about the source of the drug is that it came across the Mexican border in a truck, and that “it’s a multi-state operation.
“It came through from Mexico the first part of the Fourth of July weekend in a tractor-trailer.”
He did not release where the truck originated, or in what country it is licensed.
He added that due to a successful narcotics unit investigation, the department has already identified six individuals who were involved, and he thought detectives could identify four to six more.
“There are Mexicans and other foreign nationals involved,” Ashe said. And since the bales were delivered to a local business, he added that locals also are involved.
Ashe also said seizing such a large amount of marijuana and property will hurt the dealers financially.
“The only way to hurt these folks is to seize their drugs and their property,” he said. “It hurts them financially.”
The detectives explained that packaging is part of how the drug wholesalers get the marijuana across the border and past drug-sniffing dogs.
They said their office smells like a truck stop since bringing the bales through it, also because of the packaging.
The bales are wrapped in paper, then in layers of clear plastic wrap and black plastic. Finally, each bale is wrapped in layers of plastic with axle grease in between the outer layers to disguise the smell, the officers said.
This marijuana would have had a strong smell, too, the sheriff noted.
“This isn’t scrappy pot, it’s quality dope,” he said, pointing to the almost-solid marijuana buds in the small open section of one bundle that was opened to display the contents.