Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Dozens of bales of marijuana, with a street value of about $2 million, were found Sunday morning in a Southside Tucson home.


It happened on the 500 block of West Tiger Shark.

Tucson Police Officer Dallas Wilson says, "It was 220 bails, approximately 4,000 pounds." Wilson says the drugs have a street value of about $2 million.

Police officers responded to a family fight at around 1:20 a.m. "When they got in the area, you could smell the raw odor of raw marijuana."

So, officers then used a canine to determine which house it was coming from. The home, is just down the road from Mission Manor Park.

"I take the kids to the park and go walking every evening," says one nearby resident, who adds that she's relieved officers were able identify the home, and clear the drugs, and dealer from the neighborhood.

"You don't know who's living next door. You never know what's going on. It's kind of scary," says the mother of three.

Jose Ortega Mendez, 35, was found inside. He was booked into the Pima County Jail for unlawful possession of marijuana for sale.

Meanwhile, Officer Wilson says it's important to remind residents "that they can report this type of activity and be anonomous."

Anytime such pungent marijuana odors are coming from a nearby home, people are encouraged to report it by calling (520) 88-CRIME or 911.

The suspect is also facing charges of possession of a firearm during a narcotics offense.


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