EATON — A man from Tucson, Arizona was convicted of possession of marijuana in the Preble County Court of Common Pleas on Tuesday, Nov. 24, after 156 pounds of marijuana were discovered in a trailer he was hauling on Interstate 70.
Jacob Blatchford faces a mandatory sentence of eight years in prison after a two-day jury trial for possession of the illegal drug.
Blacthford, 34, was convicted of “Possession of Marijuana,” a felony of the second degree and “Possession of Criminal Tools,” a felony of the fifth degree, according to a press release from the Preble County Prosecutor’s Office.
Blatchford was originally arrested after Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers stopped him for traffic violations along I-70. He was driving a Ford F350 and hauling a 28-foot enclosed Featherlite trailer.
Once pulled over, a canine united detected narcotics within the trailer Blatchford was hauling and alerted the arresting officers, according to prosecutors.
According to the press release, a probable cause search was conducted and the arresting officers discovered a false compartment containing 156 pounds of marijuana wrapped in multiple bundles.
It was reported Blatchford also had close to $6,000 cash in his wallet at the time of his arrest.
According to prosecutors, Blatchford was traveling to Michigan.
After his conviction, Blatchford returned to the Preble County Jail where he is being held without bond pending the sentencing, according to officials.
Blatchford will face sentencing on Wednesday, Dec. 9, at 1 p.m. and faces a mandatory fine of a least $7,500 and eight years in prison.
He also faces a driver’s license suspension of at least 6 months and is facing up to one-year on the felony of the fifth degree “Criminal Tools” charge.
Prosecuting Attorney Marty Votel said, “The Ohio State Patrol did an excellent job in this case. The 156 pounds of marijuana was concealed inside the structural steel of the ‘boom arm,” and the arm had been welded closed and repainted.”
“Any time law enforcement can confiscate a large amount of dope before it ends up on the streets and in the hands of school-aged children, the community is well-served,” Votel added.
Reach Austin at 937-683-4062.