Monday, March 18, 2013

Ethiopian Dawit Shiferaw Bekele arrested for smuggling 490 pounds of marijuana

 Heflin police Tuesday released more information about the 41-year-old driver arrested Monday after police discovered the van he was driving was carrying 490 pounds of marijuana.

Dawit Shiferaw Bekele, from Falls Church, Va., was charged with trafficking, resisting arrest and driving without a license, said Heflin’s interim police chief, Capt. A.J. Benefield.

Bekele was pulled over for improper lane usage about 4 a.m. Monday driving eastbound on Interstate 20 near the Hollis-Heflin exit. He gave police permission to search the van.
Police officers pose with 490 pounds of marijuana found in a van on Interstate 20 this morning. (Photo courtesy of Heflin PD)
When police searched the white rental van they found the plastic-wrapped cubes of marijuana, worth about $490,000, police said.

Bekele was still in custody Tuesday afternoon, Benefield said.

There could be more arrests in the case, Benefield said. The van was rented in Atlanta by another person, he said.

Benefield declined to comment further.