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Two men arrested in connection with last week’s 900-pound marijuana seizure will be arraigned in Spencer Circuit Court next Thursday.
Hector Montes Serrano, 25, and Gabael Jimenez-Suarez, 22 — both not legal U.S. residents — were arrested last week following a multi-agency drug bust that uncovered $11,000 of cash and 900 pounds of processed marijuana at a rental property in the 600 block of Hickman Lane in the Highgrove area. The marijuana was valued at approximately $630,000. Serrano fled the residence and was arrested about a quarter-mile from the residence. Jimenez-Suarez was arrested in Louisville in connection with the case.
Serrano faces charges of trafficking in marijuana greater than five pounds — first offense and second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument. Jimenez-Suarez is charged with trafficking in marijuana greater than five pounds — first offense.
Kentucky State Police Post 4 Public Information Officer Trooper Jeff Gregory said Serrano faces the forged instrument charge because he possessed fake identification.
Gregory said the fact that Serrano and Jimenez-Suarez are not legal U.S. citizens will not affect the court proceedings.
“Generally what happens is they will go ahead and proceed just like they were American citizens,” he said. “If they are indicted they will go ahead and go before the grand jury. Their difference comes after they do their time. ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) or one of the federal agencies will handle it from there.”
The initial investigation was led by the Louisville Metro Narcotics Division in Louisville. LMPD contacted the Greater Hardin County Narcotics Task Force seeking help in locating a large stash of marijuana. The task force in turn contacted KSP Post 4, because investigators initially thought the stash was located in Nelson County. However, the area of Hickman Lane where the residence was located was inside Spencer County. The Bardstown Police K-9 unit, the Nelson County Sheriff’s K-9 unit, the KSP K-9 unit and the LMPD air surveillance team assisted in the case.
Gregory said getting such a large amount of marijuana off the streets will reduce drug sales locally.
“When you break that down into pounds and even ounces, you’re hopefully making a difference in several hundred peoples’ lives in getting it off the street,” he said.
Serrano and Jimenez-Suarez will be arraigned in Spencer Circuit Court Nov. 21 at 9 a.m. The two suspects are being held at the Shelby County Detention Center.
—Editor Shannon Brock contributed to this story