GBI: 3 arrested trying to smuggle 100 pounds of pot at Atlanta airport

ATLANTA — The Georgia Bureau of Investigation arrested three people Sunday at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport as part of a drug smuggling investigation, officials said.

Nearly 100 pounds of high-grade marijuana was seized in the bust Sunday.

Channel 2's Tom Regan learned the drugs came from California for resale here in Georgia

The GBI also told Regan that agents are worried about the smuggling of synthetic vaping liquids.

[PHOTOS: 100 pounds of pot confiscated at Atlanta airport]

The GBI's Ken Howard told Regan that the legalization of pot in some western states has spawned a reverse green gold rush.

“We had an idea throughout the investigation who the players were,” Howard said.

Dealers here are flying out west to buy huge quantities of marijuana at cut rate prices from brokers to bring back to Georgia for resale on the street.


What they could buy for $1,000 a pound, they can easily double or triple that amount in sale here.

“If you get safely out to Atlanta, you can markup that to $3,000 or $5,000 a pound," Howard said.

The GBI told Regan that cannabis vaping pens are also being smuggled in. Agents said some of the pens claim to be organic THC, but are instead synthetic pot.

In Georgia, dozens of high school students have been hospitalized after vaping the synthetic drugs -- often in school.

“The side effects, the dangers that people who are users don't understand, is about how that affects the body physiologically and psychologically," Howard said.

As for marijuana being illegally smuggled in from the West Coast, "I'm talking hundreds of thousands of pounds annually coming in from Colorado, California and those other states,” Howard said.

Agents arrested 25-year-old Marcus Daryl Malcolm, from Stone Mountain. He’s charged with trafficking marijuana and possession of schedule IV controlled substances.

Agents also arrested 32-year-old Ashley Makia Farmer, from Memphis, and 28-year-old Valerye Natili Mortimore, from Smyrna.