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Published: Tuesday, 7/15/2014


Turnpike driver pleads guilty to carrying drugs


A California man arrested in 2011 with nearly six kilograms of cocaine in his vehicle pleaded guilty Monday in U.S. District Court.

James Rhee, 38, of Los Angeles pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute cocaine. Judge James Carr scheduled sentencing for Nov. 17.

Rhee was stopped by the Ohio Highway Patrol on Dec. 22, 2011, on the Ohio Turnpike in Lucas County for speeding. A drug-sniffing dog alerted troopers to the rear of the sport utility vehicle, where they found six individually wrapped bundles of cocaine behind the rear wheel wells.

While Rhee had asked the court to suppress the warrantless search of his SUV, Judge Carr ruled in May that the dog’s “alert and indication gave the troopers probable cause to search Rhee’s vehicle.”

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