A combined investigation by Operation UNITE detectives and agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration led to an arranged undercover delivery of processed marijuana at the Wal-Mart in Middlesboro about 10:45 p.m. Thursday.
Assisting with the sting were officers from the Harlan County Sheriff's Office, Middlesboro Police Department and Kentucky State Police K-9 Unit.
"Law enforcement officers confiscated 96 pounds of marijuana in Middlesboro," said Dan Smoot, law enforcement director for UNITE. "Further investigation led to the discovery of an additional 230 pounds in a storage unit in Lafollette, Tenn., early Friday morning."
"This marijuana was ultimately meant for delivery to Harlan County," Smoot noted. "Now, it will be sent to the KSP crime lab in London for analysis."
Harlan County Sheriff Marvin Lipfird, narcotics Det. Joey Vicini, deputy Jason Snelling, K-9 Unit Dasty and deputy Josh Howard assisted in the seizure at Middlesboro.
"It was a great collaborative effort. This just goes to show when everyone works together what all can be accomplished," Lipfird said.
Four people were arrested by the DEA and taken into custody by the U.S. Marshal Service. They were lodged in the Laurel County Detention Center. Those arrested were:
-- Jason A. Alvezios, of Lafollette, Tenn.
-- Brandi Nicole Layne, age 24, of Lafollette, Tenn.
-- Jordan R. Martin, of Jacksboro, Tenn.
-- Tildem J. Crase, of Speedwell, Tenn. He also maintains a residence in Letcher County.
All four individuals were lodged without bond. They were scheduled for an initial appearance before Magistrate Judge Robert Weir in U.S. District Court in London on Friday afternoon.
During an initial appearance, the suspects learn the charges, are advised of their rights and are appointed an attorney if needed, according to the U.S. District Court Clerk. Dates may also be set for a detention hearing or preliminary hearing on the charges.