1,000 pounds of marijuana worth $3.7 million seized

Authorities are calling it the biggest marijuana seizure in county history. More than 1,000 pounds of marijuana packed in white plastic bags was seized at two different locations Wednesday. Officials say the street value of the marijuana tops out around $3.7 million. Berley O’Brian Greene, 37, 1575 Birch Dr., Orangeburg, has been charged with trafficking marijuana. Orangeburg County authorities say they are speaking with federal authorities, who may adopt the case. Greene was in court Thursday with his attorney seeking a bond while authorities had what they say is half a ton of marijuana stacked up outside the Orangeburg-Calhoun Regional Law Enforcement Complex. Orangeburg County Magistrate Willie Robinson set bond at half of a million dollars and granted a state motion for electronic monitoring. “After hearing from the state and the defense, the court finds an appropriate bond would be $500,000,” Robinson said. Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Investigator Riley Godwin had petitioned the court for a denial of bond, a seizure of Greene’s passport, electronic monitoring, or at the very least a high surety bond. “If you were to set a cash or surety bond, we would ask for a million-dollar bond,” Riley said. Riley told the court Wednesday’s arrest during a traffic stop wasn’t the first time Greene has faced a drug-related charge. In 2008, Greene pleaded guilty to a manufacturing, distribution or possession of cocaine.

He was sentenced to 18 months of probation. Defense attorney Marion Moses told the court his client, a lifelong resident of the county, would not dispute electronic monitoring. “He’s been in Orangeburg his whole life,” Moses said. “I don’t feel he is a flight risk. We ask that you set a reasonable bond.” Sheriff Leroy Ravenell said both Greene and the marijuana were seized Wednesday after an ongoing investigation with Lexington County authorities pointed to Orangeburg. Officers with both agencies raided a home and a business before seizing Greene near the intersection of Five Chop Road and U.S. Highway 21, Ravenell said. “It’s an ongoing investigation, so the information we have today will be limited,” the sheriff said. Agents were at Budget Mini Storage on Joe Jeffords Highway late Wednesday. The agents had placed a wooden crate onto a wooden pallet and used a large truck to move whatever was discovered at the location. Authorities would neither confirm nor deny the truck and agents were at the business. Drug agents say three large wooden crates with marijuana were seized. Ravenell said the investigation has revealed a marijuana trail that goes through other states. But Ravenell would not say if that trail began or ended out of the country. More than $100,000 in cash, one Chevy Silverado, three BMWs, a Mercedes-Benz, a cargo trailer, two four-wheelers, a dirt bike, electronic surveillance equipment and what appeared to be a rifle were also seized. Authorities would not confirm if more arrests are expected in the case. “This has to stop,” the sheriff said. “The drugs made it this far, which is a bad thing.”

via : thetandd

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