Out-of-state motorist faces felony after troopers discover hidden compartment

After-market modifications were found under the passenger seat, leading to charge.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Dec 19, 2012

A Pennsylvania man is facing felony charges after Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers located a hidden compartment in his vehicle during a traffic stop in Wood County.

Troopers stopped a 2004 Volvo XC 90, with Pennsylvania registration, for a speed violation on the Ohio Turnpike, near milepost 74, at 10:59 a.m. Monday.  Criminal indicators were observed and a Patrol drug-sniffing canine alerted to the vehicle. During a probable cause search, after-market modifications were found under the passenger seat. The after-market modifications were determined to be a hidden compartment.

The driver, Vincente Herrera, of Philadelphia, was incarcerated in the Wood County Jail. After conferring with the Wood County Prosecutor’s Office the suspect was charged with hidden compartment in vehicles, a fourth-degree felony; and possession of criminal tools, a fifth-degree felony. If convicted, he could face up to 30 months in prison and up to a $7,500 fine.

Comments

yea right

when did a hidden compartment become a felony??? was he first owner?? maybe it was there already...used for hiding valuables during a trip..

Contango

Driving while out-of-state. Bet a judge throws this one out.

Good luck getting your vehicle back.

KnuckleDragger

Apparently OSP is flying by the seat of their pants again, just like when the CCW law came out. Alleged criminal indicators and a K9 alerting to a car aren't enough to make the hidden compartment law stick. There must be visible residue or drugs found in the compartment. This was added to the bill because they knew the law had the potential to be abused by law enforcement. I was told by a friend of mine who is a cop, that K9's alert on over 80% of used vehicles. The reason is that if they had ever had drugs in them, the dog will still pick up on even trace amounts. This is one of the reasons that there has to be visible residue or drugs in the compartment.

Vizegoth

I had a drug dog alert to my school locker once and I never smoked pot.

Contango

Went to Amazon and found underseat storage boxes:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_s... storage box

So if you install one in order to lock up and hide valuables for a trip, you can go to prison???

Where's the ACLU on this caca?

truckin

Stupid.. I have plenty of "hiding" places in my vehicles..maybe the guy put in the compartment to hide his spare rubbers from his wife?? why is everything "not normal" "criminal indicators"? Most jeeps drive around with lock boxes, etc. Is that classified. Sure we have become a cashless society, but is carrying large sums of cash a crime?? Probably. "criminal indicators" . couldn't be a guy on the way to an auction. Maybe a gun show?? That would p them off.

truckin

also.. what was considered criminal tools?? screwdriver? tire pry bar.. This "probable cause" "criminal indicator" blah blah blah stuff has got to STOP. The enforcement is getting too tight..safety is one thing, Liberty's being stuck down more and more is another.. I am DONE giving up my RIGHTS, LIBERTIES for a so called safer society.. FACT.. Law men are only minutes away, when seconds count.

finally free

He's Latino, driving a nice car and from out of town so he must be a "drug dealer". Because a Latino can't work hard to buy something nice...(said sarcastically)

lugnut2511

The OSP profile every out of state vehicle as I drug car. You would thin by now, the drug dealers would know not to use the turnpike by now.

Raziels Wings

just another example of cops using thier authority in any ole way they ...THEY choose.

Simple Enough II

I sent a letter to the state house over these very same concerns about abuse of this law along with the anti-texting/cellphone law, I guess they didn't believe me.