Traffic stop leads to record drug bust in Jackson County

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JACKSON COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Chief Deputy Ross Mellinger says the name of the man arrested is Maricio Tola II.

Mellinger says Tola is originally from Cuba but has been living in Jackson County, even owning a store in downtown Ravenswood. Mellinger says the store was just a way to better the drug operation.

"As the investigation unfolded, it appears that the store is more and more illegitimate than it is legitimate. It was just simply used to acquire these shipments from out of the area."

Mellinger also says Tola was selling THC oils for vape pens, commonly used among teens.

"The way this stuff was marketed and the way it was packaged, it makes the kids here in our community and your community vulnerable," Mellinger said.

Tola is being held on a $300,000 bond.

Deputies in Jackson County, West Virginia, had a record-setting drug bust Monday.

A night shift team from the Jackson County Sheriff's Office made a "simple" traffic stop around 4 a.m. Monday, but investigators say it ended up being the "single largest cash drug seizure in county history."

Deputies seized approximately 15 pounds of suspected marijuana, meth and prescription pills from one person, who is yet to be identified. They also found more than $80,000 in cash; loaded handguns and assault rifles; and multiple newer vehicles.

Deputies say all of the items were associated with the same drug trade.

"This, folks, is what it truly means to work an investigation to it's fullest extent," the sheriff's office wrote on Facebook.