Two men are facing federal felony drug charges after Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers seized nearly 53 pounds of cocaine, worth an estimated $2,016,000, following a traffic stop in Madison County.
At 2:50 p.m. Sept. 30, troopers stopped a 2001 Freightliner tractor-trailer with California registration for a turn signal violation on I-70 eastbound near milepost 75 in Madison County. Criminal indicators were observed, and a Patrol drug-sniffing canine was dispatched to the commercial vehicle. A probable cause search revealed the contraband concealed in a false wall at the front of the trailer.
The Drug Enforcement Administration was contacted to assist with the investigation. The driver, Abraham A. Martinez, 48, of Monrovia, Calif., and passenger, Alfredo Ramos, 49, of Marshalltown, Iowa, were incarcerated in the Franklin County Jail and charged with federal conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute cocaine.
If convicted, each man could face up to life in prison.
This seizure is the most recent of three large Patrol seizures within the last two weeks. Troopers seized 20 pounds of marijuana on Sept. 18 in Erie County and 42 pounds of cocaine and two pounds of black tar heroin on Sept. 23 in Wood County.
Motorists are reminded to call #677 to report impaired drivers or drug activity.