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FRIDAY, MAY 11, 2007
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14 pounds of marijuana found in apartment on moving day

By Seth Burkett
sburkett@decaturdaily.com 340-2355

A group of alleged drug traffickers picked the wrong day to move into an apartment, considering police had already found a large stash of marijuana hidden inside, Decatur police said Thursday.

Lt. Chris Mathews, a police spokesman, said a manager at the Willows Apartments, 1242 Beltline Road S.W., called police Wednesday and told them a maintenance man had made an unusual discovery in Apartment 904.

The apartment was empty except for 14 pounds of marijuana packed into plastic zipper bags and stuffed in a large trash sack, Mathews said.

The manager told police he had rented the apartment in April to a Hispanic male, but had never received rent money, prompting him to send the maintenance man to check on the place.

While waiting for narcotics agents to arrive at the scene with a search warrant, officers saw a truck loaded with home furnishings pull up in front of the building.

Four men got out of the truck and began to carry the furnishings into the apartment, Mathews said.

Investigators arrested all four on charges of trafficking in marijuana.

Though all four live at that apartment complex, the man who originally rented the apartment was not among them, Mathews said.

Ivan Avila Rivera, 26, of Apartment 301, and Pedro Nava Benigno, 34, Rigoberto Acuna Nieto, 19, and Aguiles Acuna Nieto, 21, all of Apartment 402, will be taken to Morgan County Jail and held in lieu of $2,500 bond each.

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