PARKERSBURG - A man who said he was an illegal alien from Mexico was arrested Tuesday and charged with possession and intent to deliver marijuana in one of the largest drug busts in recent history, Parkersburg police said.
Officers recovered 104 pounds of commercial marijuana at 1324 Avery St., police Chief Joe Martin said.
"I've never seen a seizure this big in the last 16 years," Martin said. "It's a pretty significant seizure. And a very good arrest."
Jesus Alfredo Alverado-Aboyte goes before Magistrate Joe Kuhl in Wood County Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Police also recovered $26,332.16 in cash, a bullet-proof vest, a .40-caliber handgun and three vehicles, Martin said,
Jesus Alfredo Alverado-Aboyte, 30, 1324 Avery St., was charged with the manufacture, possession and intent to deliver marijuana, police said.
Dawn S. Aboyte, 25, Alverado-Aboyte's wife, also was arrested and charged with the same offenses, Martin said.
Photo by Jody Murphy
Police officers recovered 104 pounds of marijuana at an Avery Street home in Parkersburg Tuesday.
Within the past month while investigating an unrelated crime, Parkersburg police detectives discovered a man who was possibly involved in substantial drug distribution in the area, Sgt. Greg Collins with the Parkersburg police said. The investigation revealed he was likely an illegal immigrant from Mexico staying at a north Parkersburg home, Collins said.
Parkersburg detectives then began a joint investigation with the Parkersburg Narcotics Task Force and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which culminated with the execution of a search warrant around 11:30 a.m. Tuesday at 1324 Avery St., Collins said.
Alverado-Aboyte was detained by immigration officials and taken to the Parkersburg police for verification of his immigration status. According to the criminal complaint, Alverado-Aboyte admitted to officials he was illegally in the country.
He also acknowledged there were "several pounds" of marijuana at his Avery Street residence.
Detective P.M. Edelen, lead investigator, obtained a search warrant and with members of the narcotics task force recovered the marijuana at the residence. The marijuana was imported from Mexico, Martin said.
Martin said officers seized the product in bales and smaller bags.
The chief described Alverado-Aboyte as being on the "upper-level" of the drug trade.
"He was definitely a weight guy," he said.
Alverado-Aboyte was arraigned by Magistrate Joe Kuhl. Alverado-Aboyte was deemed a flight risk because he had no driver's license, no Social Security number and was not a U.S. citizen.
"He has no legal standing other than an American wife," Kuhl said.
Bond for Alverado-Aboyte was set at $75,000. Bond was set at $200,000 for his wife, who appeared before Magistrate Brenda Marshall.
Investigators have been working the case for about two weeks, conducting surveillance, Martin said.
Alverado-Aboyte could face additional charges related to the gun, which Martin said has been identified as stolen from Bridgeport.
Local officials also will take the matter to the U.S. Attorney's Office. Child Protective Services has been brought into the case.
"There is still leg work to be done," Martin said.
Both suspects were in the process of being transported to the North Central Regional Jail, Collins said Tuesday.