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Tuesday, August 19 2014 4:10 PM EDT2014-08-19 20:10:07 GMT
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Six men are facing felony drug charges after Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers seized 907 pounds of marijuana, worth $4,117,780, along with $13,908 in currency, during two related traffic stops in Wood County.
A trooper working the Ohio Turnpike observed a rented 2014 Subaru Outback with Massachusetts registration following too closely to a motor home, who was in turn, following the vehicle in front of it too closely. 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, the trooper found $9,720 in bundles of U.S. currency.
Further investigation revealed the motor home and Subaru occupants were traveling together.
Troopers located the motor home at 9:33 a.m. in a service plaza at milepost 77 and initiated a traffic stop for the original following too closely violation. During contact with the occupants of the motor home, troopers again detected an odor of raw marijuana. A probable cause search revealed 907 pounds of marijuana and $4,188 in U.S. currency.
The following were incarcerated in the Wood County Jail:
-Driver of the Subaru: Frankie Junior Layz, 22, of Rochester, NY
-Passenger of the Subaru: William Luciano Jr., 33, of Rochester, NY
-Motor home occupant: Justin T. Gould, 27, of Rochester, NY
-Motor home occupant: Jimmy Pross Jr., 35, of Charlotte, NC
-Motor home occupant: Jose M. Manzanares, 36, of Houston, TX
They face the following charges:
-Possession of marijuana, a second-degree felony
-Trafficking in marijuana, a second-degree felony
-Money laundering, a third-degree felony
-Possession of criminal tools, a fifth-degree felony
During the traffic stop of the motor home, one suspect fled with his 7-year-old son. He was later identified as a known drug violator in Rochester and plans to turn himself in to authorities.
Police say drug trafficking on roads is the most common way criminals move products from state to state.
"We happen to be on the crossroads of America right here with I-75, I-280 and the turnpike all come together. If you're coming from Chicago, Detroit, the New York area, you're coming right through here," said Lake Township Police Chief Mark Hummer.
Hummer says this trend is, unfortunately, becoming more common.
"Those folks aren't stopping at the Holiday Inn. They're constantly driving. They're not going to leave their precious cargo. They're constantly moving, getting it from point A to point B," said Hummer.