Federal prosecutors in Ohio have charged two men with distributing significant quantities of cocaine out of a used car dealership in Montgomery County. The 41-year-old and 40-0year-old Dayton residents have been charged with conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, distributing a controlled substance and possession of illegal drugs with the intent to distribute. They could be sent to a federal prison for decades if they are convicted. The charges were announced on July 16.
U.S. attorneys say that the alleged drug distribution scheme came to light during a Drug Enforcement Administration investigation into cocaine trafficking in southwestern Ohio. According to court documents, a 47-year-old Cincinnati man, who was also charged and has already pleaded guilty to possessing a controlled substance with the intent to distribute, arranged to purchase and pick up a large quantity of the drug from a used car dealer on Third Street in Dayton.
Federal investigators used this information to obtain a warrant to search the used car dealership. The search warrant was executed in January 2020. During the search, DEA agents allegedly found a metal cylinder that contained about 176 pounds of cocaine. A subsequent search of the 40-year-old man’s home is said to have yielded more cocaine, a firearm and an undisclosed amount of cash thought by investigators to be the proceeds of drug transactions.
Experienced criminal defense attorneys could question search warrants that are issued based solely on the testimony of alleged coconspirators or informants. If law enforcement is unable to corroborate such statements with independent evidence, attorneys may seek to have items recovered during the search excluded and drug charges either reduced or dismissed. Attorneys could also challenge claims that money found was the proceeds of criminal activity when the suspects involved were engaged in a type of business where large cash transactions are commonplace.