$9 million of marijuana seized in Atlanta's biggest trafficking bust

Image 1 of 10

It could possibly be the biggest marijuana bust in Atlanta history, according to narcotics officers with decades of experience of fighting drugs on the streets.

More than $9 million worth of marijuana was seized Monday, according to officers.

“I think we got lucky to be honest with you, you know? But I'll take luck sometimes any day,” said Deputy Chief Darryl Tolleson, Criminal Investigations Division, Atlanta Police Department.

Tolleson said it was a tip that led to the nearly 6,000 pounds of marijuana. That call came in around 5 p.m. Monday to report a shipment of drugs moving through the city. 

Thursday, those 208 bales, wrapped in plastic and coated with Chlorine to try to evade K-9 detection, were locked up at an undisclosed evidence room.

“Of course we know that that helps, they're trying to throw the dogs off should some dogs come around that particular truck. You guys smelled it, it's a pretty intense smell back there,” said Tolleson. 

The Georgia State Patrol worked with Atlanta police to pull over Jose Ibarra, 29, of Houston, as he drove a box truck north on Interstate 75. Once stopped, officers opened the back door to reveal the cargo area full of marijuana.

Ibarra has since been charged with trafficking marijuana.

Police said while large, the bust only makes a small dent in the market. Officers said they will remain vigilant, especially for the side effects the underground marijuana market can have on the communities.

“I see it every day. Most of our shootings are tied to gangs or drugs and many times it's marijuana, it's not some of the more dangerous stuff.  So, it's no doubt about it that crime is associated with all types of drugs, including marijuana,” said Deputy Chief Tolleson.

Ibarra remained in the Fulton County Jail Thursday evening without bond. He is scheduled to appear in court at the end of the month.

NEXT ARTICLE: Parents arrested after using baby to hide drugs