Weed News: Ohio Authorities Seize About $1.2 Million Worth Of Marijuana In Traffic Stop

Ohio State Highway Patrol officers pulled over a pick-up truck on Interstate 80 on January 21, 2015, for a failure to use a turn signal, and the canine on duty indicated that there could be drugs in the car. The troopers subsequently conducted a search of the vehicle and discovered 235 pounds of marijuana, which the patrol indicates is worth about $1.2 million.

The troopers pulled over 62-year-old Daniel M. Essad and 42-year-old Kimberly M. Benson, and arrested both on charges of drug trafficking and possession for their illegal cargo. If convicted, the pair of alleged marijuana smugglers could spend up to 16 years in prison, Fox 8 reports.

The traffic stop on the Ohio Turnpike, which resulted in the substantial drug bust, occurred in Ohio’s Lorain County. However, both suspects were residents of Reno, Nevada.

The Chronicle-Telegram reported that state troopers indicated that they had observed criminal indicators in addition to the drug-sniffing canine, which alerted them that there could be drugs in the vehicle. These indicators were justification for a probable cause search, which resulted in authorities’ interception of more than two-hundred pounds of pot.

Benson and Essad were both taken to Lorain County Jail. In addition to facing up to 16 years in prison, the pair could be fined up to $30,000.

The alleged marijuana smugglers were driving a 2007 Chevy 1500 pick-up truck with Nevada registration.

The troopers estimate that roughly $1.2 million worth of pot calculates to more than $5,100 per pound, or nearly $320 an ounce. High Times publishes a US Price Index for marijuana prices, which indicates that pot costs between roughly $100 and $400 an ounce depending on the quality, which ranges from low quality “schwag” to the high quality “kind” buds. Based on this price index provided by High Times, the quality of the marijuana seized by authorities in Ohio would be amongst the high-grade variety if authorities had based their estimate on similar figures.

The arrest took place just west of the Baumhart Road exit of Ohio’s Turnpike.

Benson was driving, Daniel was riding as a passenger. Both are facing second-degree felonies.

In other recent crime news in Ohio, police in Wane have arrested two people on separate drug related crimes with help from the Heroin Interdiction Team, which is a combination of Celina police and Mercer County Sheriff’s deputies. Authorities arrested Tyla M. Granger, 21, and Alan Bricher, 22.

Bricher was arrested with a bag of marijuana and a bottle filled with capsules containing an unknown substance. Police also discovered more than $350 in cash on his person.

Granger was arrested on an outstanding bench warrant at around 1:50 p.m. on Wednesday for a traffic violation at U.S. Route 127, in which police confiscated 9 capsules of suspected heroin, 4 empty capsules, 2 prescription pill bottles containing drugs commonly used to treat depression and seizures, as well as a loaded BB gun, which was found in the vehicle’s glove box, WANE reported.

Inquisitr recently reported that if you follow a legal marijuana Facebook group or like Snoop Dogg’s pictures of weed on Instagram, you may want to prepare to say good-bye in light of news from a report which indicated that social media sites intend on banning a lot of weed-related digital media in 2015.

On January 20, 2015, WFMJ published a report, in which they stated Youngstown police had busted an apparent marijuana grow op, where authorities seized 36 live marijuana plants as well as cultivation equipment and some other items. The growing operation was discovered in the garage of an abandoned house on Division Street in Youngstown, Ohio.

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[Image via Ohio State Patrol]