Undercover narcotics officers intercepted nearly a half million dollars worth of marijuana last week at the Gray Post Office.
Agents say the new trend is for this highly potent pot to be shipped to the Tri-Cities from places like California, which is one of 18 states where marijuana can be used for medical purposes. "In the past two or three years we've seen a tremendous increase in medical-grade marijuana,” said an agent with the First Judicial Drug Task Force.
Officers say medical marijuana has some of the highest THC contents, which gives drug users more of the buzz they are looking for. "This could be something that the marijuana dispensary refused to take,” said the agent. “It might have something like mites or fungi in it, and they are going to make their money somehow."
It's extremely valuable on the streets. Last week's bust netted more than $90,000 in marijuana.
Agents say it was shipped from California to Zachary Worsham using Dakota Whitson's address. Both men were arrested and charged with drug possession.
Officers have seized more than 100 pounds of medical grade marijuana in the past year. "I'm sure you remember the ETSU case (click here to read that story). It was shipped from California and Johnson City vice had a case last week -- they intercepted five pounds," the agent said.
In an unrelated case, officers found something even more valuable on the streets and extremely rare in another package. Jars filled with hash and hash oil, which are made from marijuana and are even more potent. There was enough to bring in more than $300,000 on the streets.
Officers say they were shipped from California to Tony Powers, Jr., who is charged with drug possession.
The postal inspector alerted the agents to all of these packages after they were found with a drug dog.
Officers say most of the shipments come from northern California and are shipped by a person using a fake name and not a company.