1,500 Pounds of Marijuana Found in Tractor-Trailer at Charlotte Warehouse

From The Charlotte Observer By Meghan Cooke, May 25, 2012

Six men are facing federal drug charges after authorities said they discovered a tractor-trailer with 1,500 pounds of marijuana at a northern Charlotte warehouse.

Antonio Ricardez Garcia, 26, of Gastonia

Israel De Leon, 36

Jose Gonzalez, 42, of Hidalgo, Texas

Ornis Leger, 42, of Charlotte

Wenceslau Hernandez Perez, 31, of Gastonia

On Thursday, authorities received information that a tractor-trailer carrying the drugs would arrive at a hotel on Sunset Road off Interstate 77 in Charlotte, according to an indictment filed in U.S District Court.

Drug Enforcement Administration agents set up surveillance in the area, the indictment says, and around 1:40 p.m. Thursday, agents spotted the vehicle – an 18-wheeler with a refrigerated trailer.

Agents said they also saw suspects at a nearby Days Inn on Sunset Road.

After several hours of surveillance and following suspects around the area, authorities watched as the tractor-trailer arrived at a warehouse on Old Statesville Road near West W.T. Harris Boulevard, according to the indictment. Authorities said the warehouse is known as a drop-off point for large loads of marijuana.

Then, agents said, they saw several men in and around the trailer and heard the sounds of heavy objects hitting the floor. Authorities moved in to arrest the men, who tried to flee.

Inside the tractor-trailer, authorities found 125 plastic-wrapped bales of marijuana totaling 1,500 pounds, the indictment says. A van driven by one of the suspects had another 60 bales of marijuana – about 700 pounds.

One suspect told authorities that the drugs had been driven to Charlotte from Texas.

Charged in the case are Jose Gonzalez, 42, of Hidalgo, Texas; Ornis Leger, 42, of Charlotte; Antonio Ricardez Garcia, 26, of Gastonia; Wenceslau Hernandez Perez, 31, of Gastonia; Israel De Leon, 36; and Gonzalo Banuelos Perez. Staff researcher Maria David contributed.

Published in: on May 26, 2012 at 12:05 am  Leave a Comment  

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