Shelby County Sheriff's Deputies make second $1 million drug bust in a week - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Andrew Douglas

Shelby County Sheriff's Deputies make second $1 million drug bust in a week

(Courtesy Shelby County Sheriff's Department) (Courtesy Shelby County Sheriff's Department)
(Courtesy Shelby County Sheriff's Department) (Courtesy Shelby County Sheriff's Department)
(Courtesy Shelby County Sheriff's Department) (Courtesy Shelby County Sheriff's Department)

Deputies with the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office have their second million dollar drug seizure in less than a week over the weekend.

According to spokesperson Steve Shular, the Department's Street Crimes Bureau arrested six people over the weekend in connection to a marijuana business worth more than $1 million.  The marijuana business was operated from two businesses in southeast Memphis.

Shular said Sheriff’s Deputies received a tip the “Eclipse” clothing store, at 5843 Winchester, was a front for a drug business.

While the store was under surveillance Saturday afternoon, deputies watched a man run out of the store and get into a Ford pick up truck.

Deputies followed the pick up truck to another business related to the clothing store, “Club Eclipse” at 4532 Getwell Road, which was also under surveillance. Within minutes, Sheriff’s Department Narcotics Officers watched a tractor-trailer pull into the nightclub parking lot.

Deputies watched as several large boxes were loaded into a Chevy Astro Van and a black Ford F-150 pick up truck. Not long after the vehicles left the club, Deputies stopped the suspects on Shelby Drive east of Tulane.

Deputies found the van was loaded with more than 700 pounds of marijuana, while another 500 pounds of marijuana was inside the pick up truck. Although the boxes had been packed with hot chili peppers, “Lucy,” a Sheriff’s Office drug detection dog, quickly discovered the marijuana. Deputies searched “Club Eclipse” but found no drugs inside the business.

Shular said Carlos Perez, 36, of Nesbit, Mississippi, was driving the van, and Franciso Perales, 26, of Memphis, was the driver of the pick up truck. Both were charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Manufacture, Deliver, or Sell Marijuana and Speeding.

Meanwhile, back at the “Eclipse” clothing store on Winchester, other undercover deputies arrested two men in the parking lot. Their blue Chevrolet Silverado pick up truck was found loaded with 35 pounds of marijuana. Joaquin Garcia, 24, of Cordova, and Richard Villa, 24, of Memphis, were charged with Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Manufacture, Sell or Distribute Marijuana.

Inside the business, Deputies found another pound and a half of marijuana, hidden in secret compartments near the customer service desk. Victor Perez, 26, and his brother Juan Perez, 36, both of Memphis, were arrested. Shular said the brothers were armed with guns.

Deputies found 92.5 grams of marijuana inside pants worn by Juan Perez, who was charged with Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Manufacture, Deliver or Sell Marijuana.

Victor Perez was charged with Unlawful Carrying or Possession of a Weapon.

Deputies also seized almost $6,000 in cash from the businesses thought to be connected to the marijuana.

Deputies with the Sheriff’s Office ALERT Squad (Area Law Enforcement Retailers Team) were also called to the store. They discovered almost $9,000 in counterfeit CDs and DVD movies. Ivory Randolph, 32, of Memphis, was charged with Criminal Simulation over $1,000.

Monday, Juvenal Perez, the owner of the store and club, said he was unaware that drugs were being sold there.

"(It's) very confusing to me and my family," he said. "My family is hurt right now."

Last week, in an unrelated occurrence, over 1,000 pounds of marijuana was discovered in a van by a Shelby County Sheriff's Deputy during a traffic stop.


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