Atlanta

3 accused of smuggling $75,000 worth of marijuana through west coast airport to Atlanta

ATLANTA — The Atlanta Police Department Interim Chief of Police told Channel 2′s Audrey Washington in an exclusive interview that a drug bust went down at an apartment complex on Piedmont Avenue.

He said the suspects were so desperate that they even threw boxes of marijuana out the window to escape arrest.

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Kirra Walker lives at the Skyline Atlanta apartments and recognized one of the suspects.

“I might have seen him walking around here somewhere,” she said, pointing out one of the alleged suspects.

Alejandro Meraz, along with Javier Meraz and Annie Garcia-Sanchez, all face drug and gun possession charges following a major drug bust here at the apartment complex on Piedmont Avenue.

Interim chief Darin Schierbaum says the bust started as a disturbance call Wednesday morning.

“That officer on the scene knowing that our focus is gangs guns and drugs was able to know that something was not right here and he alerted our narcotics unit,” he said.

“Once officers entered the apartment, the condo they had observed pounds of marijuana,” Lt. Robert Albertini of APD’s narcotics unit told Channel 2.

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According to Albertini, police found more than 54 pounds of marijuana with a street value of about $75,000.

Police also discovered several vape pins, guns, and $11,000 in cash. In addition, police found boxes of marijuana on neighboring apartment balconies and say they believe the suspects tossed the boxes of weed out of the window.

“So they were trying to get rid of it? we asked.

“They were trying to get rid of it, they were throwing it over the balconies,” Albertini said.

Albertini says the suspects are from the San Francisco area.

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He believes they actually covered the sealed bundles of marijuana in Vicks vapor rub, stuffed those bundles in what appeared to be a sofa cushion, then put the cushion in a large suitcase and shipped the drugs from the Seattle airport to Hartsfield Jackson International Airport in Clayton County.

“There’s evidence that there was a flight taken from Seattle and San Francisco,” Albertini said.

“How were they able to get it through the airport?” we asked.

“Well it went undetected. I don’t know what the staffing levels are in Seattle or San Francisco but they were able to get them through,” Albertini said.

The three suspects are in the Fulton County Jail.

Police say this is now the 67th drug bust in the City of Atlanta in just this year alone.

“These are significant seizures,” Albertini said.

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