PREBLE COUNTY — On two consecutive days, Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers discovered illegal drugs during traffic stops in Preble County.
On Wednesday, March 2, troopers stopped a rental van, with California registration, near milepost nine in Preble County for a following too closely violation on Interstate 70 eastbound.
According to OSP troopers, criminal indicators were observed and a Patrol drug-sniffing canine alerted to the vehicle. A probable cause search revealed a small baggie containing cocaine in the vehicle, according to troopers.
Troopers also discovered modified shoes containing six packages of cocaine worth $232,900.
The driver, Essex J. Clark, 47, of Las Vegas, Nevada, was incarcerated in the Preble County Jail and charged with possession and trafficking in cocaine — both first-degree felonies — and possession of criminal tools, a fifth-degree felony. Clark remained in custody at the Preble County Jail at press time on Monday, March 7.
The day before, Tuesday, March 1, troopers discovered over $100,000 in marijuana during a traffic stop in Monroe Township.
According to reports, troopers stopped a 2013 Ford F150 pickup truck, also with California registration, for turn signal and stop sign violations at 1:47 p.m. last Tuesday. Criminal indicators were observed and a Patrol drug-sniffing canine alerted to the vehicle.
Troopers reported, a probable cause search revealed three duffel bags containing 60 pounds of marijuana, worth $120,000. The driver, Frederick H. Coleman, 70, of Gilbert, Arizona, was incarcerated in the Preble County Jail and charged with possession of marijuana, a second-degree felony.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @emowen_RH.