JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) - On Wednesday May 16th, 2018, at approximately 6:30 p.m., Rankin County Interdiction Deputies Chris Picou, Sentel Easterling and Ronnie Decell along with Rankin County Canines "Splinter", "Wanese" and "Fox" were working a criminal interdiction operation at Jackson-Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport in partnership with Airport Police.
Deputies and canines were conducting "sniffs" of inbound luggage. All three canines alerted on three large suitcases.
Rankin County Sheriff's Investigator Brad Smith obtained a search warrant for the bags from Rankin County Justice Court Judge Josh McCrory.
A search of the bags revealed approximately 70 pounds of hydroponic marijuana in vacuum sealed bags wrapped in clothing.
Rankin County Deputies along with Airport Police observed a male subject pick up two of the bags at baggage terminal.
Officers moved in and arrested the male suspect. The suspect is identified as Mario Maurice George. George was arrested for trafficking of marijuana and was transported to the Rankin County Jail.
The retail value of the marijuana is approximately $300,000.
George will appear before District Attorney Michael Guest and Rankin County Court Judge Kent McDaniel's for an initial appearance. No bond has been set at this time.
The marijuana is believed to have originated from Los Angeles and was intended to be delivered and distributed in the Jackson Metro Area.
This investigation continues and more arrests are expected.