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Federal counts lodged in 500-pound pot haul

Rivera-Arvayo
Ramirez-Perez

The quarter-ton haul of marijuana last week may have landed the defendants in Allen Superior Court, but only for a few days.

Given the weight and type of investigation, the two men are now facing federal charges for what court documents outline as a controlled delivery of drugs already seized.

According to a criminal complaint filed last week in U.S. District Court in Fort Wayne, Alvaro Rivera-Arvayo, 23, and Luis Alfonso Ramirez-Perez, 49, are charged with possession to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana.

During their inquiry, agents with U.S. Immigrations and Custom Enforcement in Indianapolis received information from another office in the Southwest, informing them a large shipment of marijuana was headed through the state capital en route to Fort Wayne, according to court documents.

Agents seized the pot April 14, stored it overnight, and then undercover law enforcement officials drove it to Fort Wayne to attempt a controlled delivery of the 25 bales of marijuana.

Police said it was picked up by Rivera-Arvayo at a shopping center parking lot in the Coldwater Crossing area and then taken to a home and unloaded.

A couple of hours later, a man was seen leaving the home in the 8000 block of Auburn Road and was stopped by police, authorities said.

He told officers he received a phone call from “Jalapeno” – later identified as Ramirez-Perez.

The man said Ramirez-Perez asked him to store the pot inside his home and offered to pay him $400 for doing so.

He said the men put the bundles in the attic space above his stairs, according to court documents.

Later that day, members of the Allen County SWAT team secured the house while federal agents and Allen County Drug Task Force members searched it.

Authorities found the bundles inside the attic, along with numerous freezer bags full of marijuana in a freezer in an upstairs bedroom.

In all, 582 pounds of marijuana were found in the home, according to Allen Superior Court documents.

Rivera-Arvayo and Ramirez-Perez have not yet been indicted.

They were scheduled to appear in Allen Superior Court on Thursday morning for their initial hearings on state charges, but according to Allen County prosecutors, those charges will be dismissed because of the pending federal charge.

rgreen@jg.net

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