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Drug raid in the Carolinas yields 3,700 pounds of pot

A raid on trucks in the Southwest in early November revealed a complicated marijuana shipping operation that appeared to originate in North Carolina. So far, nine men have been arrested on charges of illegal entry, but it is not clear that anyone is facing drug charges in the matter, according to official reports. More than 3,700 pounds of pot were seized by authorities in Texas after the complicated smuggling scheme was discovered.

The marijuana was not packaged in a normal fashion; instead, it was compacted by machine into tiles measuring about 1-foot-by-1-foot and 1 inch thick. These bricks were then covered in plastic and masking tape, and they were dyed brown to resemble wood. Then, the bricks were placed inside boxes for self-assembled furniture for easy transport through the U.S., according to official reports. To a casual observer, the tiles would just have appeared to be part of the interior wood segments of many self-assembled furniture items.

One of the most recent shipments was caught in Texas, and it was bound for the area near Charleston, South Carolina. Others seem to have been targeted to locations in North Carolina. Officials were able to seize some other marijuana bricks after they had been transported to the Carolinas during a massive raid on Nov. 6. Authorities in the Carolinas say that transportation of marijuana and other drugs is becoming far more sophisticated, as drug cartels expand their reach even into the nation's Southeast region. Not surprisingly, a significant amount of violence in Mexico and other areas has been correlated with the distribution of marijuana to North Carolina and other nearby regions.

Two people remain in custody on illegal entry charges, and they could also soon face drug charges for their role in the matter. The investigation in this trafficking operation is ongoing, so others could also be implicated for their roles. These defendants could benefit from the assistance of a qualified criminal defense attorney, who can help them learn more about their rights in court.

www.postandcourier.com, "Charleston County drug bust nets nearly two tons of marijuana, but 1978 seizure was bigger" Andrew Knapp, Nov. 19, 2013

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