Area law enforcement agents recover marijuana, cash and make two arrests
View attachment 14327 HUNTSVILLE, AL -- Officials recovered more than 350 pounds of marijuana and more than $200,000 in cash during a drug bust Wednesday across two counties. Officials with the Madison County Sheriff's Office, the Madison Police Department and the Limestone County Sheriff's Department worked together to share intelligence and surveillance to make the Wednesday drug bust.
Sgt. Michael Salomonsky with the Madison County Sheriff's Office said the bust started Wednesday morning in Limestone County with a traffic stop that yielded marijuana, oxycontin pills and Xanax pills. That traffic stop led officials to an apartment in Madison, Salomonsky said.
In Madison, Salomonsky said police recovered about 104 pounds of marijuana, and through additional surveillance and evidence obtained warrants for two homes at 4020 Pulaski Pike.
In Lot 113 of the Pulaski Pike address, sheriff's officers recovered more $200,000 in cash and a gun. In lot 43, officials recovered more than 200 pounds of marijuana.
Rito Motoya, 30, and Tranquileno Garcia, 32, were both arrested during the Pulaski Pike drug raids. Officials said both were charged with trafficking marijuana and have a $500,000 bond.
Salomonsky said Motoya is in the United States illegally, and officials don't know Garcia's status. He said it's still under investigation.
According to Salomonsky, the marijuana was worth about $320,000, but had a street value of more than $500,000.
The arrests and drug recovery was part of a combined intelligence task force. Salomonsky said every time an arrest is made or drugs are recovered, the information is cataloged and shared among area law enforcement agencies. By working together, Salomonsky said arrests and recoveries like this are possible.
While this bust was one of the larger busts for Madison County, Salomonsky said more marijuana was distributed prior to recovery.
"I can guesstimate 200 plus pounds was distributed" before the bust, Salomonsky said.
By Victoria Cumbow, The Huntsville Times
[h5]April 22, 2010, 4:03PM[/h5]