A Jan. 15 traffic stop on Buford Drive led to the arrest of two Gainesville men on drug charges.
Narcotic investigators witnessed a possible drug transaction in the parking lot of the Mall of Georgia. The persons who allegedly received a package believed to be drugs left the mall in a white Ford Focus and headed north on Buford Drive.
A uniformed officer caught up with the vehicle and noticed the tag had a tinted license plate cover that made the plate difficult to read. The officer pulled the vehicle over for the tag cover violation and made contact with the two occupants, identified as Jimmy Malone, 29, and his brother Genova Malone, 39.
“As I made contact with the occupants, I immediately smelled the strong odor of raw marijuana coming from the vehicle,” the officer wrote in the report. The officer further noted that both men appeared “visibly nervous.”
The officer informed the driver, Jimmy Malone, that he intended to write him a warning for the illegal license plate cover. As he finished writing the warning, he asked Malone if there were any illegal drugs in the vehicle. Malone said there were not, but refused the officer’s request to search the car.
The officer then spoke with Genova Malone and asked if he had anything illegal in the car. The officer informed Genova that he smelled marijuana and intended to search the vehicle. He then asked Genova to step out of the car. As Genova was exiting the vehicle, he reportedly said, “It’s in the car. It’s my marijuana.” Genova advised the officer that his brother Jimmy did not know it was in the vehicle.
The marijuana was located in a shopping bag.
“Inside were four large Ziploc bags with marijuana inside,” the report stated. “Each bag appeared to be approximately one pound each. Both Jimmy and Genova were placed in handcuffs.”
The brothers were transported to the Gwinnett County Jail and booked on a single charge each of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Both men were released the following day, each on a $5,700 bond.
The marijuana was placed into evidence. The car, along with cash found in the brothers’ possession, was seized.
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