Authorities seized over 500 pounds of marijuana, guns, a BMW and more than $14,000 in cash after raiding a Whitfield County home on Monday, according to a news release from the Whitfield County sheriff's department.
Florentino Hernandez-Padron and Benjamin Lopez-Zapata have been charged with trafficking in marijuana and are being held without bond since their arrest.
The investigation that led to the bust began in Brownsville, Texas last week when narcotics detection dogs indicated a large package at a UPS center might contain drugs. The package was addressed to a Whitfield County resident.
Officials opened the package and found 270 pounds of marijuana. U.S. Customs agents then contacted Whitfield authorities.
The package was shipped to Ringgold, where two men picked up the package and took it to a house on Dawnville Road. Authorities then arrested the two men.
The other items were found when authorities searched the home.
Read more about the investigation in tomorrow's Times Free Press.
Mariann Martin covers healthcare in Chattanooga and the surrounding region. She joined the Times Free Press in February 2011, after covering crime and courts for the Jackson (Tenn.) Sun for two years. Mariann was born in Indiana, but grew up in Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Belize. She graduated from Union University in 2005 with degrees in English and history and has master’s degrees in international relations and history from the University of Toronto. While attending Union, ...