Georgia State Patrol troopers seized more than 1,000 pounds of marijuana, with a street value of about $1 million, from a vehicle passing through Rockdale County on Nov. 23.
According to reports, a 2000 GMC Safari Van heading westbound on I-20 was pulled over at 6:15 p.m. The van was spotted changing lanes without using a signal and had an improper display of a drive out tag.
The trooper turned on his blue lights and followed the van, which did not slow down or yield and stop in the emergency lane. The driver of the van began to exit the interstate at exit 78 but appeared to increase speed, "as if he was going to flee the scene," according to the report. The trooper then called for backup, and another patrol car turned on its blue lights. The driver of the van then pulled over on the exit 78 ramp.
Upon reaching the van, the trooper noticed the driver, Antonio Mendez Olivera, was extremely nervous while handing over his identification card, which was from the state of Washington. He was asked to step outside.
Olivera reportedly said the van belonged to a friend and that he was taking it to get serviced.
When the trooper asked for paperwork on the car due to the improper drive out tag, Olivera said the papers were in the van.
Upon approaching the driver’s side of the vehicle, the trooper noticed a number of bundled bricks of apparent narcotics throughout the vehicle in plain view. When opening the door, the noticed a strong odor of green marijuana coming from inside the vehicle.
Troopers found 42 bundles inside the van.
Olivera was then arrested for Trafficking of Marijuana and booked into the Rockdale County jail.