CHICAGO (Reuters) - Authorities in Columbus, Ohio, seized about 2,800 pounds of marijuana from Mexico with a street value of $3.5 million, as well as almost $1 million in cash in two raids, police said on Saturday.
The marijuana was seized after a six-month investigation and was to be distributed throughout central Ohio, said Columbus Police spokesman Sergeant Rich Weiner.
In the first raid, on January 26, police witnessed large quantities of marijuana being transferred from a South Columbus warehouse to a van, which police intercepted along with two smugglers, Hector Martinez, 36, of Columbus and Luis Miranda, 24, of Phoenix, Ariz. They were arrested and charged with possession of marijuana. In total, approximately 2,055 pounds of marijuana were collected, said Sergeant Rich Weiner.
Police quickly learned that Luis Miranda's brother, Arnaldo Miranda, 25, was involved in the smuggling and intercepted him with $946,000 in cash at a residence he rented.
In the second raid on Friday, the investigation led to the seizure of an additional 800 pounds of marijuana at a home in Columbus.
All three men were arraigned on felony drug charges and are being held at Franklin County jail. Bail for each is set at $500,085 and no court date has been set.
(Reporting and Writing by Eric Johnson; Editing by Greg McCune)