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Published: Friday, 2/1/2013

2 men arraigned on felony drug charges

Two men accused of smuggling cocaine on the Ohio Turnpike were arraigned Thursday in Perrysburg Municipal Court on felony drug charges.

Robert Hammond, 29, of Akron and Eric Strickland, 45, of Chicago are each charged with drug abuse and trafficking in drugs, both first-degree felonies. Bond was set at $100,000 for Mr. Hammond and $115,000 for Mr. Strickland.

Troopers had stopped a rented 2013 Toyota Camry, with Illinois registration and driven by Mr. Hammond, for a marked-lanes violation on the turnpike near milepost 74 in Lake Township at 9:48 a.m. Tuesday, the patrol said. Criminal indicators were observed and a drug-sniffing dog alerted to the vehicle. A probable-cause search revealed about a kilogram of cocaine, with an estimated street value of $100,000, inside a shoebox in the vehicle’s trunk.

The suspects remained in the Wood County jail in lieu of bond later Thursday pending their preliminary hearings, scheduled for Wednesday. If convicted, each faces up to 20 years' imprisonment and fines of up to $40,000.

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