More than 100 pounds of cocaine was found in a shipment at the Port of Savannah -- thanks to the nose of a police K9.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Juan De Jesus Gutierrez, 45, Jonathan Mejia, 41, and Ricardo Sanchez Ortiz, 46, all of Kissimmee, are facing multiple drug felony charges.
Savannah Police Department’s K9 unit said officer Dooly was called to assist with a “drug sniff” at the port last week at a container shipped from the Dominican Republic. The officer found about 50 kilos of cocaine, which has a street value of $1.75 million
Authorities said they removed the cocaine from the shipment and maintained surveillance of the container when it later was picked up and delivered May 29 to a rented warehouse nearby.
Gutierrez, Meija and Ortiz were taken into custody when they arrived at the site, opened the container and began unloading the boxes.
The investigation is continuing.
“We applaud the hard work of the law enforcement agencies tasked with interdicting the illegal shipments that traffickers attempt to hide within the massive amounts of vital commercial material,” said U.S. Attorney Christine.
Authorities say while the port becomes busier and busier, so does the criminal activity attempts.
“As the Port of Savannah continues to see growth in volume of cargo processed each year, criminal organizations will continue to try and smuggle their poison into the U.S.,” said acting Special Agent in Charge Robert Hammer, who oversees Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) operations in Georgia and Alabama. “Today’s arrests should serve as a warning to those organizations that law enforcement in Savannah will defend our ports and protect our communities.”
© 2020 © 2020 Cox Media Group