A Marble Hill couple who fled the country to avoid drug charges has been taken into Dawson County custody.
Dawson County Sheriff’s Lt. Ray Goodie said Gladys Lucia Ferrer, 46, and husband Nelson Vidal Ferrer-Hernandez, 52, were detained last week as they attempted to enter Panama.
“Panama officials immediately turned them around, got on the plane with them and flew them back,” he said. “Our officers met them at the Atlanta airport and took them into custody.”
Each suspect has been charged with manufacturing marijuana and possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute.
The charges stem from an elaborate indoor marijuana-growing operation the couple is accused of running at their home on Hensley Way in western Dawson.
A multiagency sweep in late July uncovered more than two dozen suspected marijuana plants in the basement of the couple’s home.
The plants, which were between 7 and 9 feet tall, had an estimated street value of $25,000.
Officers made one arrest at the home the day of the raid.
Lazaro Rodriguez-Alfonzo, 40, was charged with manufacturing marijuana and possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute. He remains in custody at the Dawson County jail.
Two juveniles were also at the home when agents executed a search warrant. They were not charged.