• 32 pounds of marijuana, firearms and $11K seized from Catawba Co. home

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    NEWTON, N.C. - Catawba County Sheriff's Office seized 32 pounds of marijuana, three handguns and more than $11,000 from a home in Newton.

    Deputies arrested 16-year-old Mark Anthony Verdugo and 23-year-old Johnny See.


    (Mark Verdugo, Johnny See)

    The Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Department of Homeland Security made the arrests after conducting a search warrant at the home on Park Lane.

    When investigators arrived at the home, officials said they smelled a strong odor of marijuana. Investigators executed a search warrant and found the stash.

    "In an attempt to serve an arrest warrant on an individual who resides at the home, our investigators were able to identify the home as a stash house due to the strong odor of marijuana coming from the residence,” said Jason C. Reid, captain of the Catawba County Drug Force. “This was obviously a large-scale distributor of marijuana. The marijuana we confiscated was being shipped into our community from another state."

    Verdugo and See were arrested and charged with one felony count trafficking marijuana, one felony count maintain vehicle/place/dwelling for controlled substance and one felony count PWISD marijuana.

    Verdugo has a $50,000 bond, while See was given a $101,000 bond.

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