DAYTON — An Arizona man is facing felony drug charges after Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers seized 743 pounds of marijuana, worth an estimated $1,686,610 after a traffic stop in Preble County.
Troopers stopped a 2011 Ford F150 pickup, with fictitious U.S. Government registration, for an improper lane-change violation on Interstate 70, at 11:18 a.m. Thursday. Troopers observed criminal indicators and a patrol drug-sniffing canine alerted to the vehicle. A probable-cause search of the vehicle revealed 36 vacuum sealed and shrink wrapped bundles of marijuana, weighing about 743 pounds concealed in the cargo area of the van.
The driver, Isaac Chavez, 37, of Tuscan, Ariz., was incarcerated in the Preble County Jail and charged with possession of marijuana, a second-degree felony, possession of criminal tools, a fifth-degree felony, and fictitious registration, a fourth-degree misdemeanor. If convicted, he could face up to nine years in prison and up to a $12,500 fine.
This was the second-largest marijuana seizure of 2012. In March troopers seized 2,500 pounds of marijuana on Interstate 70 in Madison County.