FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Two people have been arrested after police seized about 582 pounds of marijuana.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement gave a tip to the Allen County Drug Task force that a large shipment of pot would be delivered in Fort Wayne on Tuesday night.
Officers from several agencies set up surveillance around a parking lot of a major store around the intersection of Coldwater and Washington Center Roads, court documents said. That is where the meeting places and drug delivery was set to happen.
After officers saw the delivery of the marijuana, they followed the recipients to a home in the 8000-block of Auburn Road. There, they saw the recipients “off-loading several bails [sic] of what was believed to be marijuana and they were taking them into the house,” according to court documents. After getting a warrant, the Allen County SWAT team then raided the house. They found the 550 pounds of marijuana that been delivered and another 32 pounds that had been packaged and ready to sell.
“This is a big seizure. This is not a first-time event for these people. Obviously it’s been coming in for a while and our officers did a great job working with other agencies to get this off the streets,” Allen County Sheriff Ken Fries said.
Police estimate the value of the drugs to be about $580,000. Luis E. Perez, 49, and Alvaro A. Rivera, 23, both of Fort Wayne, were arrested and face drug dealing charges. They were arrested in a traffic stop after the SWAT team had raided the home on Auburn Road. Fries said they will be filed in federal court.
“The federal government, since some states have legalized marijuana, has been hesitant to take on marijuana charges, which frustrates us here across the nation. We know if we can take federal charges they’ll get more time,” Fries said. “Five hundred eighty pounds is a large seizure and certainly should be taken federally. We need to send a message to other drug dealers that if we catch you with this, you’re going to prison and you’re going to prison for a long time.”
The case remains under investigation. The Allen County Drug Task force, The Indiana State Police, ICE, Fort Wayne Police Department, DEA and New Haven Police were all involved in the bust.
While this was a big bust, Fries said Allen County still has a big marijuana problem and getting it off the streets is a daily battle. If anyone sees any unusual or suspicious activity at a house, they are asked to call police. Even what seems like a small tip could lead to a big bust. Call the sheriff’s department at (260) 449-7554.