Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers seized 2,397 illegal prescription pills, worth about $35,000 during three separate traffic stops in Hancock, Ross and Wood counties.
The first seizure occurred when troopers stopped a 2011 Ford Focus, with New York registration, on U.S. 23 in Ross County, for following too close and marked lanes violations at 6 p.m. Thursday. Criminal indicators were observed and a Patrol drug-sniffing canine alerted to the vehicle. A probable cause search revealed 101 Oxycontin tablets, 329 Percocet tablets, and 41 Xanax tablets hidden in the vehicle's dashboard. The driver, Willie D. Taylor, 34, of Detroit, was charged with aggravated trafficking of drugs, and drugs abuse, both second-degree felonies.
A short time later, troopers stopped a 1998 Buick, with Kentucky registration, on Interstate 75, near milepost 177, in Wood County for a marked lanes violation at 7:26 p.m. Upon approaching the vehicle, the odor of raw marijuana was detected. A probable cause search revealed the marijuana in the ashtray, and two packages containing 1,171 Hydrocodone tablets, and 450 Xanax tablets in the vehicle's trunk. The driver, Walter D. Johnson, 26, of Lexington, Ky., was charged with trafficking and possession of drugs, both third-degree felonies.
The final drug seizure occurred when troopers stopped a 2003 Nissan Maxima, with Tennessee temporary registration, on Interstate 75, near milepost 157, in Hancock County, for a marked lanes violation at 1:43 a.m. Friday. Upon contact with the driver, troopers observed marijuana in plain view. A probable cause search revealed 186 Xanax tablets, 60 Suboxone tablets, and 59 Morphine Sulfate tablets. The driver, Bernories Brabson, 31, of Knoxville, Tenn., was charged with possession of a Schedule II substance, and the passenger, Victoria Means, 28, of Knoxville, Tenn., was charged with possession of a Schedule III substance, both are third-degree felonies.
The Patrol continues to urge motorists to call #677 to report impaired drivers or drug activity.