A Columbus man and an Atlanta woman are in federal custody after Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers seized 1.5 kilos of cocaine, worth more than $120,000, and a handgun following a traffic stop on Interstate 70 in Madison County.
Troopers stopped a 2012 Ford Escape, with Louisiana registration, for a speed violation on Interstate 70 near milepost 72, at 7:04 a.m. on September 20. Criminal indicators were observed and a Patrol drug-sniffing canine alerted to the vehicle. A probable cause search revealed the 1.5 kilos of cocaine and a Smith and Wesson .380 handgun hidden in a natural void in the vehicle's dashboard.
Both suspects were turned over to the Drug Enforcement Administration for further investigation and charges.
Prior to the stop, troopers received two separate drug tips on the #677 hotline regarding this suspected drug trafficker. The information was processed by the Patrol's Criminal Intelligence Unit and disseminated to road units for further investigation.
The #677 hotline was established earlier this year as a way for the general public to report suspected drug activity to the Patrol. The number, which is connected to Patrol dispatch centers, is receiving more than 5,000 calls per month across Ohio.