by: Tony Thomas Updated:
DULUTH, Ga. - The Gwinnett County Fugitive Squad is on the hunt for two men arrested earlier this month, but freed before police filed all of the charges against them.
Channel 2 Action News reporter Tony Thomas looked through police reports and squad car camera recordings from three different vehicles concerning the April 1 stop on Pleasant Hill Road.
Officer John Gladen pulled over a small compact car when he noticed both the driver and passenger did not have their seat belts on. Once the car was stopped, commanders say the smell of marijuana was overwhelming.
"The smell was just permeating the air all the way around the vehicle," said Major Don Woodruff.
After Gladen and his drug dog Benny became suspicious, Gladen questioned Nguyen and Soundara.
On a voice recording, Gladen is heard asking Nguyen if he had anything illegal in his car. Nguyen said, "No."
But authorities say they found a backpack sitting between Soundara's legs that contained marijuana, a gun and $12,000.
"That's drug related and as of right now, all that cash is ours. Do you understand?” Gladen can be overheard telling one of the suspects.
Police arrested both men on the marijuana charges and took them to the Gwinnett County Jail. But authorities say as they looked more closely at the backpack over the next few hours, they say they found more drugs, including 32 prescription pills. Police returned to the jail to add more charges against Nguyen and Soundara, but the two had already bonded out of jail.
Investigators say they've been missing since.
"What they told them was they were down from around Clayton County somewhere," Woodruff said.
The Gwinnett County Sheriff's Department's Fugitive Squad is now involved in the case with additional warrants in hand.