The fourth individual, Jarvis Sheppard, was arrested around 8:50 p.m. after getting two suitcases from baggage claim, police said. He had 63.28 pounds of marijuana, according to the statement.
Officers then arrested four people who retrieved the bags from baggage claim, according to police. Authorities said they ultimately recovered seven suitcases containing 174 pounds of marijuana valued at $700,000.
Authorities found more than 170 pounds of marijuana inside suitcases after a flight from Seattle landed at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
The Atlanta Police Department’s Airport Drug Interdiction Unit made the discovery on May 26 when at least five suitcases were on their way to baggage claim, the agency said Friday in a statement.
Nicole Golden, 47, was taken into custody around 5 p.m. ET after picking up a bag containing about 22 pounds of marijuana, according to the statement. Naly Tong, 29, and Keomanyvanh Tong, 33, were arrested around 7:30 p.m. after retrieving one bag each from baggage claim. The police department said both women had additional bags containing marijuana.
All three women have been charged with trafficking marijuana and remain in custody at the Clayton County Jail.
Keomanyvanh Tong had nearly 46 pounds of marijuana, and Naly Tong had 43.34 pounds, according to officials.
In the United States, marijuana wasn’t widely used for recreational purposes until the early 1900s. Immigrants from Mexico to the United States during the tumultuous years of the Mexican Revolution introduced the recreational practice of smoking marijuana to American culture.
Fifty-eight-year-old farmer Samuel Caldwell was the first person prosecuted under the Act. He was arrested for selling marijuana on October 2, 1937, just one day after the Act’s passage. Caldwell was sentenced to four years of hard labor.
Hashish (a purified form of cannabis smoked with a pipe) was widely used throughout the Middle East and parts of Asia after about 800 AD. Its rise in popularity corresponded with the spread of Islam in the region. The Quran forbid the use of alcohol and some other intoxicating substances, but did not specifically prohibit cannabis.
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Burned cannabis seeds have been found in the graves of shamans in China and Siberia from as early as 500 BC.
California, in the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, became the first state to legalize marijuana for medicinal use by people with severe or chronic illnesses. Washington, D.C., 29 states and the U.S. territories of Guam and Puerto Rico allow the use of cannabis for limited medical purposes.
In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved two drugs with THC that are prescribed in pill form, Marinol and Syndros, to treat nausea caused by cancer chemotherapy and loss of appetite in AIDs patients.
As part of the “War on Drugs,” the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, signed into law by President Richard Nixon, repealed the Marijuana Tax Act and listed marijuana as a Schedule I drug—along with heroin, LSD and ecstasy—with no medical uses and a high potential for abuse. It was identified in anti-drug programs like D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) as a “gateway drug.”
People can grow marijuana in California, but not outdoors and not more than 12 plants, except in cities offering manufacturing permits.
They believe 10 to 15 people were living in this former farm camp and there was a roving patrol.
They filled a truck trailer with the marijuana from just about one-half of one of those greenhouses, so they’ll need to make several trips to an unidentified disposal site to get rid of all of it.
It’s the "most elaborate" illegal marijuana grow detectives have ever seen, the sheriff’s office said.
“We did get a lot of evidence from the searches of the buildings, the structures here,” said the sergeant.
Deputies spent all day Friday tearing down the plants growing in 18 greenhouses and hauling them away.
And they’re piecing together a criminal case.