80 pounds of marijuana found in car; 3 arrested

WINDER - Barrow County deputies seized 80 pounds of marijuana Monday during a traffic stop.

Barrow County Sheriff's Office narcotics investigators and members of its heightened enforcement action team were staked out along Interstate 85 near the Jackson County line Monday. Deputies pulled over the driver of a burgundy Jeep Cherokee for following another vehicle too closely, according to police reports.

During the stop, the driver and passengers acted strangely and gave the deputies reason to search the car, Sheriff's Office spokesman Maj. Murray Kogod said.

Deputies discovered the marijuana, which is estimated to have a street value of $96,000, police reports said.

No police dog was used in the search, Kogod said.

Deputies arrested Jaime Cortez Aragon, 21, and Muaricio Duran Almanza, 24, both of Jonesboro, and a male juvenile. Each was charged with one count of trafficking marijuana.

Aragon and Almanza remain in the Barrow County jail under $100,000 and $102,500 bonds, respectively.

Investigators continue to probe the case, and more arrests are expected, Kogod said.