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Posted: 4:02 a.m. Friday, Oct. 18, 2013

$712K of pot found in 2nd OSP bust in 2 days

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Preble County Drug Bust photo
JOHN CURRIER

Ohio Highway Patrol troopers recovered 157 pounds of marijuana Thursday night, which was stashed in the trunk of this Toyota Camry. OSP performed a traffic stop on the vehicle on Interstate 70 just west of the Montgomery County line.

IGNACIO LEYVA, 36 photo
Ohio Highway Patrol
IGNACIO LEYVA, 36

By Breaking News Staff and Drew Simon

PREBLE COUNTY —

More than 150 pounds of marijuana worth around $712,000 was recovered in the second drug bust by the Ohio Highway Patrol in as many days.

The Ohio Highway Patrol recovered the drugs during a traffic stop on Interstate 70 in Preble County, District Lt. John Payer said.

Troopers pulled the 1997 Toyota Camry over in the eastbound lanes of I-70, just west of the Montgomery County line, around 11:25 p.m., investigators said.

The driver, Ignacio Leyva, 36, of Chicago, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of felony possession of drugs and was transported to the Preble County Jail, troopers said.

The trooper on the traffic stop, which was conducted after Leyva was suspected of following to close to another vehicle, became suspicious and requested a K9 to the scene. The K9 alerted investigators to the trunk of the Camry, which is where troopers found 157 pounds of marijuana worth more than $712,000.

"You break that down that's 157 pounds of marijuana that won't make it into a city, a village, a township in the state of Ohio," Payer said.

Leyva told the patrol he was driving to Springfield, Ohio to pick up his wife, Payer said.

The bust comes a day after state troopers found 190 Ecstasy pills, $18,000 cash, 67 grams of marijuana and a loaded handgun inside the U-Haul trailer Roger Clayton, 36, was pulling behind his SUV on Interstate 70 in Preble County near Ohio 726. The drugs recovered in Wednesday's case were worth around $4,000, troopers said.

Clayton was booked into the Preble County Jail on drug possession, weapons under disability and driving under suspension charges. The 36-year-old also was wanted for outstanding felony warrants in Davenport, Iowa, where he is from, troopers said.

In June the patrol conducted a traffic stop on Interstate 75 in Vandalia, where troopers recovered the largest amount of illegal prescription drugs in the history of OSP. During the stop William Hedges, 30, of St. Clair Shores, Mich., was found in possession of 17,000 pills of prescription medication. The street value of the drugs in Hedges' case was $340,000.

Hedges was convicted in the case yesterday and is currently facing three to 11 years in prison for each of his two counts of aggravated possession of drugs, Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck said.

Hedges is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 5.

Troopers said the highways are where they tend to focus their time tracking down suspected drug activity.

"The interstate systems are the major arteries for these folks that are dealing this type of business to get their product to and from," Payer said.

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