2 charged with trafficking legal marijuana

Published 5:29 pm Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A trip to the Brantley Post Office has landed two men in jail for trafficking.

The Crenshaw County Sheriff’s Office charged Dozier resident Tereek Dondre Bell and Gary Markus Bonner, of Camden, with trafficking marijuana after a joint investigation between CCSO, SBI narcotics investigators, United States Postal inspectors, the Brantley Police Department and Oklahoma State Troopers.

Bell and Bonner came under investigation after their recent trip to Colorado, where marijuana was legalized last year. On that trip, the pair purchased more than nine pounds of marijuana with an estimated value of $50,000.

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Bell and Bonner then drove to Wyoming.

“They packaged and shipped the marijuana to Brantley,” said Sheriff Mickey Powell.

Transporting nine pounds had a lasting effect. Long after the package had been shipped, the odor remained.

When an Oklahoma State Trooper caught a whiff of the marijuana during a traffic stop, the trooper searched the vehicle. He did not find drugs, but did discover a shipping slip.

“He notified the postal service, the SBI and us,” Powell said.

A search warrant was obtained and the package was intercepted in Montgomery. Once the contents were confirmed to be marijuana, a sting operation was planned. Law enforcement staked out the Brantley Post Office and prepared to arrest whoever picked it up.

“One of the guys went to the post office and signed for the package,” Powell said. “A foot chase ensued and the suspect was apprehended.”

In addition to the trafficking charge, Bonner was charged with resisting arrest.

In Powell’s tenure as a narcotics investigator, he was involved with numerous stings similar to this. In many cases, investigators would stand in as postal workers or postal service deliverymen.

“You’d be surprised what is mailed in our post office,” he said. “I have to give credit to that Oklahoma trooper. He was the reason we headed this off. It gave us the break we needed.”