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Published: Thursday, 9/22/2011

Drugs seized in separate busts on Ohio turnpike


Cocaine valued at $2.4 million and marijuana valued at $90,000 were seized, and three arrests made, during separate traffic stops on the Ohio Turnpike early Wednesday and early Thursday, the Ohio State Highway Patrol reported.

Robert Navarez, 25, of Los Angeles, and Vicente Quezada, Jr., of Van Nuys, Calif., were arrested during the larger bust and charged with drug abuse, aggravated drug trafficking, drug abuse, and possession of criminal tools after a drug-sniffing dog alerted to their vehicle after it was pulled over eastbound near the U.S. 20 interchange in Maumee at 3:11 a.m. Thursday for an alleged improper lane change. Troopers’ probable-cause search revealed 24 kilograms of cocaine in the vehicle.

Maria V. Montanez, 36, of Cleveland, had been arrested Wednesday after troopers stopped the eastbound auto she was driving at 1:07 a.m. in Springfield Township between the U.S. 20 and State Rt. 2 interchanges for speeding. After a drug dog alerted to her vehicle, troopers’ search yielded 39 pounds of marijuana. She is charged with aggravated drug trafficking and drug abuse.

All suspects were booked into the Lucas County jail. The California men are scheduled for arraignment Thursday in Maumee Municipal Court. Ms. Montanez was arraigned there via video link Wednesday and bond was set at $200,000.

If convicted, the two men face up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $40,000, while Ms. Montanez could spend 10 years in prison and be fined up to $20,000.

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