Investigators seize more than a ton of marijuana, 4 arrested on federal drug charges

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COLUMBUS (WCMH)– More than $1.3 million in cash and 3,600 pounds of marijuana have been seized in relation to a case of alleged drug trafficking between Tucson, Arizona and Columbus.

According to federal investigators, Damian Edwards, 38, Hopie Dawn Edwards, 34, Theo Lavelle Smith, 33, all of Columbus, and German Alfredo White, 53, of Jacksonville, Florida, were arrested on charges related to running a marijuana trafficking ring.

Investigators also said that they seized three firearms and five vehicles.

Court documents show detectives began investigating in November of 2015 into a multi-kilogram marijuana drug ring. Investigators said detectives learned large shipments were being brought into Columbus on a monthly basis by a man named “Lucky” later determined to be Damian Edwards, a Jamaican native.

According to investigators, law enforcement officials saw defendants renting and driving large vehicles such as a U-Haul, Dodge Durango and Landstar Ranger semi-tractor trailer and meeting at locations near Polaris Shopping Place before following one another to a hotel nearby.

Each defendant was charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana, a crime punishable by a range of 10 years up to life in prison, and a $10 million fine.

Agencies involved included the Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission, Columbus Police, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Ohio Attorney General’s office, Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Enforcement Removal Operations, the IRS, and Gahanna Police.

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