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Troopers seize more than $4 million worth of marijuana during two related traffic stops

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Jul 19, 2013 at 2:07 PM

Six men are facing felony drug charges after Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers seized 907 pounds of marijuana, worth $4,117,780, and $13,908 in currency during two-related traffic stops Wednesday in Wood County.

A trooper working the Ohio Turnpike observed a rented 2014 Subaru Outback, with Massachusetts registration, following too closely to a motorhome, who was in-turn following the vehicle in front of it too closely as well. The trooper attempted to stop both vehicles at 9:04 a.m., but was only able to stop the Subaru at milepost 71. Upon contact with the driver, the trooper detected an odor of raw marijuana coming from the vehicle and observed marijuana on the driver’s pants. During a probable cause search of the vehicle, the trooper located $9,720 in bundles of U.S. currency.

Further investigation revealed that the motorhome and the occupants of the Subaru were traveling together. Troopers located the motorhome at 9:33 a.m. in a service plaza at milepost 77. Troopers initiated a traffic stop for the original following too closely violation. During contact with the occupants of the motorhome, troopers detected an odor of raw marijuana. A probable cause search revealed 907 pounds of marijuana and $4,188 in U.S. currency.

The driver of the Subaru, Frankie Junior Layz, 22 and his passenger William Luciano Jr., 33, both of Rochester, NY; and the occupants of the motorhome: Justin T. Gould, 27, of Rochester, NY; Jimmy Pross Jr., 35, of Charlotte, NC; and Jose M. Manzanares, 36, of Houston, TX; were incarcerated in the Wood County Jail and were charged with possession of marijuana and trafficking in marijuana, both second-degree felonies; money laundering, a third-degree felony; and possession of criminal tools, a fifth-degree felony.

During the traffic stop of the motorhome, one suspect fled with his 7-year-old son. The suspect was later identified as a known drug violator, of Rochester, NY, and he plans to turn himself in to authorities.

On the previous day, troopers made another marijuana bust in Wood County, but the value of the drug seized in that traffic stop was a fraction of the other amount.

Troopers stopped a rented 2012 Toyota Camry, with Tennessee registration, for failure to yield violation onto State Route 795 at Interstate 75 in Wood County at 11:35 p.m. Tuesday.

Upon approaching the vehicle, troopers detected an odor of burnt marijuana coming from the vehicle. The driver voluntarily admitted to having marijuana in the vehicle. A probable cause search revealed a plastic sealed bag containing more than half-a-pound of marijuana in a backpack, worth $2,500.

The driver, Edward R. Huckaby III, 30, from Toledo, was incarcerated in the Wood County Jail and charged with possession and trafficking in marijuana, both fourth-degree felonies.

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