Cocaine valued at $500,000 seized

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 8, 2005

George McArthur Jackson, 56, of Boligee, and Ernest Pearce Carpenter, 51, of Eutaw, were arrested by the Greene County Sheriff’s Department Friday morning and charged with trafficking cocaine. The bust resulted in the seizure of 23 kilos of cocaine, which according to Greene County Sheriff Johnny Isaac would be worth, “on the low end of street value, half a million dollars.”

Isaac said more arrests could be forthcoming in the case, both locally and on the federal level. The arrests of Jackson and Carpenter were the result of a cooperative effort between Greene County law enforcement, Louisiana state officials, and the Alabama Bureau of Investigation’s narcotics division.

Greene County officials were first alerted after an 18-wheel tractor trailer, driven by Jackson and owned by a Livingston-based trucking company, made a stop in Louisiana and caught the attention of local law enforcement.

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Jackson was scheduled to deliver a full load of oranges to an Atlanta-area Wal-Mart SuperCenter, but his progress was monitored after leaving Louisiana and upon his arrival in Greene County his truck was pulled over and searched. Law officials discovered a suitcase packed with the kilos of cocaine, which Isaac said was in the form of small, plastic-wrapped bricks.

Isaac said that the investigation had determined that the cocaine was “coming to Greene County,” rather than passing through on its way to somewhere else. The shipment originated from a location he could not disclose, although he did indicate it was from an area further west than Louisiana.

Both Jackson and Carpenter remained in the custody of the Greene County jail as of Monday morning. Their bond hearing was scheduled for an undetermined time Monday.

Isaac reported that the oranges were still in excellent condition following the search, and had since been reclaimed by their owners.