EATON — In separate incidents, Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers filed felony drug charges against a California man, and a resident of Marietta, after traffic stops in Preble County earlier this month.
During the first traffic stop, troopers seized 120 pounds of hydroponic marijuana, which is valued at approximately $330,000, according to reports.
On Dec. 13, at 8:14 a.m., troopers stopped a 1979 Dodge motorhome with California registration for a marked lanes violation on Interstate 70 near milepost 9. Criminal indicators were observed and a patrol drug-sniffing canine alerted to the vehicle. A probable cause search revealed the contraband, OSP reported.
The suspect, Ronald L. Martin, 64, of Squaw Valley, California, was incarcerated in the Preble County Jail. He was charged with possession of marijuana, a second-degree felony and possession of criminal tools, a fifth-degree felony.
The Ohio State Highway Patrol was assisted by the Preble County Sheriff’s Office, Eaton Police Department and members of the Miami Valley Bulk Smuggling Task Force.
If convicted, Martin could face up to nine years in prison and up to a $17,500 fine.
On Dec. 12, troopers stopped a 2009 Mazda 3 MX3 with West Virginia registration for an improper lane change on Interstate 70 in Preble County.
During interaction with the occupants, troopers detected an odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. A probable cause search revealed more than 6 pounds of marijuana, 46 grams of solid hashish and drug paraphernalia. Troopers also located 2 grams of methamphetamine and a pipe on the driver’s person, according to reports.
The contraband has an approximate street value of $19,353, troopers said. The driver, Jeramie D. Walker, 38, of Marietta, was charged with trafficking in marijuana, a third-degree felony, possession of solid hashish, a fourth-degree felony and possession of criminal tools, a fifth-degree felony. Walker was incarcerated in the Preble County Jail.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH.