Five men found with 1,100 pounds of hidden marijuana

Ofelia Garcia Hunter, Alice Echo-News Journal

Five individuals were arrested and identified after a discovery of more than 1,100 pounds of marijuana worth $900,000 during a traffic stop, police said.

Those arrested were Juan Rivera Violencia Gylenento and Andres Mejia Garcia, both from Mexico, and Enrique Guajardo, Juan Guajardo and Manuel Angel Mendoza from the Zapata area.

The men were taken into federal custody and transported to the Brooks County jail, officials said.

All five are facing felony charges of possession of marijuana, police said.

The task force discovered 152 bundles of marijuana covered by rubber mats over them hidden in the bed and in the back seat of the Dodge Ram 3500. The bundles, wrapped in plastic, weighed 1,124.75 pounds with an estimated street value of $899,800, police said.

According to police, the Dodge truck was traveling west on Highway 44 about 8 a.m. Wednesday when it was stopped for a traffic violation. The task force team, which is made up of Jim Wells County deputies and Alice police officers, also pulled over two other vehicles, a Ford truck and a Tahoe, that were traveling together.

The task force and Immigration and Customs Enforcement are investigating the case.