Ismael Garcia Gonzalez, 31, was already in jail, charged with trafficking marijuana after a September bust by the Rowan County Sheriff's office. They said they found 40 pounds of pot at a house Gonzalez was renting, but this week they found much more.
"It ended up being about 530 pounds of marijuana," an officer told Eyewitness News.
We're protecting the officer's identity because he does undercover work. He says the man who owns the property on Russell Farm Road was out doing yard work when he stumbled on a huge stash. He was surprised by the September bust since he didn't know his property was being used to store drugs. So the stash was another surprise.
"As he's pushing the dirt up with a backhoe, he actually clips the metal lid, which ended up being the top of the box," the officer said.
That box led to a huge hole in the ground and inside was over 500 pounds of pot.
"It's being brought in from Mexico to here and being distributed in our local communities," the officer said.
Gonzalez's neighbor said she had no idea she was living next door to something like that.
"I didn't know what to think," Jennifer Brindle said. "It's pretty bad, though."
Gonzalez is behind bars at the Rowan County Detention Center. He's being held without bond.