Troopers discover hidden compartment in vehicle

Driver had previous drug trafficking arrests.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Dec 1, 2012

A Chicago man is facing felony charges after Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers found a hidden compartment in his vehicle during a traffic stop on the Ohio Turnpike in Wood County.

Troopers stopped a 2004 Chrysler Pacifica, with Illinois registration, for a marked lanes violation on the Ohio Turnpike, near milepost 69, at 1:46 p.m. Wednesday. Criminal indicators were observed and a Patrol drug-sniffing canine alerted to the vehicle. During a probable cause search, tamper marks were observed on the center console.

Further investigation revealed an after-market modification under the center console which was determined to be an electronic hidden compartment. The compartment was opened and was found to contain two cell phones.

The driver, Darius Meaux, 44, who has a history of trafficking in narcotics, was charged with hidden compartments in vehicles, a fourth-degree felony and incarcerated in the Wood County Jail.

If convicted, he could face up to 18 months in prison and up to a $5,000 fine.

Earlier this year, 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.

Comments

funwithothers

really

funwithothers

i have a hidden compartment in my house is that illegal too?

funwithothers

article would have been much better if the dog found drugs .....im sure he gave off alot of criminal indicators when he had no drugs or guns or large amount of cash...nope just a hidden compartment with two cell phones this country is going to hell in a bucket but at least im enjoying the ride

Ellis dee

Im staying away from the highway

Game time

Quite frankly I am tired of reading about OSP articles from all across the state of Ohio. What is the state patrol doing in this area???

iamrevolutionary

What did the dogs hit on to warrant a search of the vehicle? This is getting ridiculous! Searches and seizures are becoming commonplace, whether legal or not... Wake up people! We are being cornered and won't have any warning as to when the gov't. will pounce!

deertracker

Oh those "marked lane violations" again????? Why would anyone be nervous/criminal indicators if they have no illegal "stuff"?

Betherella

I don't think people should be mad about their privacy if they have nothing to hide. The police are just trying to do their jobs to keep us all safe.

TheGravyWhisperer

...word to the wise ...if you're going to use the ol' 'hidden compartment ruse,' be sure to slip in an old tv remote, odd sock, and several toaster pastry corners so when the OSP finds the cache, you can tell them all that stuff wormholed its way into the car from your couch...

Whoopball

Out of state vehicle passing through and the driver is hit with a felony, welcome to Ohio. The LE lobby and prison profiteers need to be reigned in. Betherella, I'll bet this fellow is mad about losing his privacy when he had nothing to hide and has gotten a felony charge for his trouble. Living in a big city, parking my car on the street, I'd like to have a secure place to hide my phone, etc., that doesn't make me a criminal, unless I get stopped by the Ohio state stormtroopers.

richrs

Actually a hidden compartment isn't illegal. Read the last couple of paragraphs.

onlyfacts

"hidden compartment with the intent to facilitate the unlawful concealment or transportation of a controlled substance." So now intent has to be proven? Does anyone know what a 'marked lane violation' is??

richrs

Sounds like swerving a bit out of your lane. Gives them the right to pull you over then they can make up what they need after that.

XxAeroStarz69xx

A hidden compartment, with nothing found in it?..Are you serious??..So wheres the criminal indicators?..And whats a marker lane violation?..Oh yea just an excuse to pull someone over for NO reason.

chicken noodle

A marked lane violation would be not signaling to change lanes, or not staying inside your lane. Also, if a vehicle had drugs in it a drug dog could still pick up on the sent from them even if there were no drugs found.

Dr. Information

If you have nothing to hide, then why be afraid. This upstanding person Im sure just had a special compartment made just to hide a couple cell phones.....and from who. Just another LOSER drug user.