On July 8, 2018 at 3:20 p.m., troopers stopped a 2008 Nissan Altima with Arizona registration for an impeding traffic violation on Interstate 275 near milepost 51. Criminal indicators were observed and a Patrol drug-sniffing canine alerted to the vehicle. A probable cause search revealed the contraband.
The driver, Gloria Lopez, 25, of Tucson, Ariz., and passenger, Lizbeth Sophia Morales, 19, of Losarcos Sierra Vista, Ariz., were incarcerated in the Hamilton County Jail and charged with possession and trafficking in heroin, both first-degree felonies; and operating a vehicle with a false compartment, a fourth-degree felony.
If convicted, each woman could face up to 21 years in prison and up to a $45,000 fine.
In 2012, Senate Bill 305, prohibited designing, building, constructing, fabricating, modifying or altering a vehicle to create or add a hidden compartment with the intent to facilitate the unlawful concealment or transportation of a controlled substance. It also prohibits operating, possessing or using a vehicle with a hidden compartment with knowledge that the hidden compartment is used or intended to be used to facilitate the unlawful concealment or transportation of a controlled substance, and prohibits a person who has committed a first or second degree felony violation of aggravated trafficking in drugs from operating, possessing or using a vehicle with a hidden compartment.
This year, troopers have removed more than 100 pounds of heroin from Ohio’s roadways, more than twice as much compared to 2017 year-to-date. For a complete list of drug arrests by county visit: http://www.statepatrol.ohio.gov/statistics/statdocs/Highlights/2018/Drugs.pdf
The public is encouraged to call #677 to report drug activity and dangerous or impaired driving.