MCCRACKEN COUNTY, KY (KFVS)- The McCracken County Sheriff's Department Drug Division arrested a Marion, Kentucky couple on numerous drug related offenses and seized $13,000 in marijuana, said Det. Jesse Riddle.
Miguel A. Gutierrez, 37, of Sturgis Road in Marion, Ky. is charged with trafficking in marijuana over 5 lbs.(A class "C" felony punishable by 5-10 years in prison); Trafficking in marijuana over eight ounces (A class "D" felony punishable by 1-5 years); failure to appear to court (2 times), and fugitive from justice (A Massac County warrant).
Gutierrez was also charged with two additional McCracken County bench warrants and an Illinois fugitive warrant.
Also arrested was Katherine R. Lapierre 20, of Sturgis Road in Marion, Ky. and charged with operating a on a suspended license and trafficking in marijuana over 5 lbs.(A class "C" felony punishable by 5-10 years in prison).
Detectives also seized a 2002 Dodge Caravan and will attempt to forfeit it based on the fact it was used to transport illegal drugs.
Detectives say they began an investigation around the end of April after receiving information that Miguel Gutierrez and Katherine Lapierre were selling large quantities of marijuana in Western Kentucky and Southern Illinois.
Investigators say that Gutierrez and Lapierre were residing in Marion Kentucky, obtaining large quantities of marijuana from Illinois, transporting them to Ky. and distributing them. As part of the investigation, detectives obtained evidence against Gutierrez for trafficking in excess of eight ounces of marijuana in McCracken County. Detectives obtained an arrest warrant for Gutierrez.
Detectives worked in conjunction with the Pennyrile Narcotics Task Force after learning that the couple was residing in Marion Kentucky.
On May 29, 2011, detectives learned that Gutierrez and Lapierre had picked up another quantity of marijuana and were in transit from Illinois to Kentucky.
At approximately 1:45 p.m., detectives observed the couple in a blue 2002 Dodge Caravan on Interstate 24 in McCracken County. Detectives stopped the vehicle on I-24 East Bound at the 13 mile marker. Police say Lapierre was driving the vehicle. Gutierrez was found hiding in the back seat of the van. Detectives arrested Gutierrez. Detectives seized several hundred dollars from Gutierrez that police say they be live is from illegal drug sales.
Detectives conducted a search of the vehicle. During a search of the vehicle, detectives say they seized 11 pounds of Mexican Marijuana that was concealed in a plastic tote of baby clothes in the vehicle with a street value of more than $13,000.
At approximately 2:30 p.m., detectives with the Pennyrile Narcotics Task Force, assisting McCracken County Sheriff's Detectives executed a search warrant at the couple's Marion Kentucky residence located on Sturgis Road in Marion. During a search of the residence detectives say they seized a .40 semi automatic handgun, ammunition and other drug related items.
Police say Gutierrez is a convicted felon and not allowed to possess firearms.
Both Gutierrez and Lapierre were lodged in the McCracken County Jail.
Additional charges and arrests are likely in this case.