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Published: Thursday, 11/29/2012

Car's hidden compartment with 2 cell phones lands Chicago man in jail

BLADE STAFF

A vehicle's secret compartment holding nothing but two cell phones landed a Chicago man behind bars.

In the Wood County jail, charged with having a hidden compartment in a vehicle, a fourth-degree felony, is Darius Meaux, 44.

Troopers reported stopping a 2004 Chrysler Pacifica for a marked-lanes violation on the Ohio Turnpike in Lake Township at 1:46 p.m. Wednesday.

A drug-sniffing canine was brought to the scene and a probable cause search was conducted, troopers said.

During the search, "tamper marks" were seen under the center console, where police found an electronic hidden compartment. Once opened, police found nothing more than two cell phones.

This year, a bill was passed that banned the creation or addition of hidden compartments in vehicles which are intended to conceal or transport a controlled substance. It also prohibits anyone with a prior first or second-degree drug-related conviction from having a hidden compartment in a vehicle.

Troopers reported that Meaux has a history of drug trafficking.

If convicted of the hidden compartment charge, he could face up to 18 months in prison and a $5,000 fine.



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