Cops seize P1.2M worth of ‘marijuana’

The alleged marijuana plantation owned by Jonas Alvios in Don Salvador Benedicto, Negros Occidental which was discovered by the police during a buy-bust operation Sunday. (Photo courtesy of Don Salvador Municipal Police Station)

By: Glazyl Y. Masculino

BACOLOD City – An estimated P1,238,400 worth of suspected marijuana were seized from two persons in two separate buy-bust operations in Don Salvador Benedicto, Negros Occidental on Aug 11, 2019.

Police Captain Jerald Muya, town police chief, said they conducted the first operation against Nelson Ortiz, 58, of Barangay Bunga past 3 p.m. at a public cemetery in Barangay Pandanon.

Muya said an informant told them that Ortiz was seen carrying a bag and a sack containing suspected marijuana.

“We immediately subjected him for a drug bust operation, which led to the recovery of one kilo of suspected dried marijuana leaves worth P120,000, the P200 marked money, and a tricycle he used in transporting the said contraband,” he added.

The suspected dried marijuana leaves amounting to P120,000 seized from Nelson Ortiz in a drug bust at a public cemetery in Barangay Pandanon, Don Salvador Benedicto, Negros Occidental Sunday. (Photo courtesy of Don Salvador Municipal Police Station)

Muya also said that they tapped Police Station 7 here after Ortiz was also being monitored by the said police station, following reports of his alleged distribution of the contraband here.

Muya said Ortiz, during his arrest, denied the allegations against him but he revealed that he gets the items from Jonas Alvios, 50, of Barangay Igmaya-an, an alleged supplier of marijuana in Bacolod and the said town.

It prompted the police to also conduct another drug bust against Alvios, whom they considered as a high value target.

Alvios was arrested at his residence around 5:15 p.m. and police confiscated from him eight kilos of suspected dried marijuana leaves worth P960,000, and the P500 marked money.

Muya said Alvios admitted engaging in the illegal activity, and even revealed to them his alleged marijuana plantation, where police uprooted 120 suspected marijuana plants worth P158,400.

The area where these plants were located is so far from his house and is very difficult to be located because it is already near a cliff, he added.

Muya said Alvios considered the plants as medicine.

He’s been placed under monitoring since last year but we really had difficulty arresting him because some alleged that he has a firearm and he uses it when he’s drunk, Muya said.

However, we didn’t recover a firearm during his arrest, Muya said.

Muya said Alvios‘s name was also revealed by a suspect who was arrested for the same violation last August 1.

“We are not yet sure if he is indeed a big supplier in the province but his area of distribution includes Bacolod and some parts of the town,” Muya said, adding that they are still conducting follow up operation against his other links or against those who told him to plant the said marijuana,” Muya said.

Muya said both suspects will be charged for sale and illegal possession of dangerous drugs. They are detained at Don Salvador Municipal Police Station.