WOOD COUNTY -- A big day for drug busts on Ohio highways by Highway Patrol troopers on Wednesday.
While troopers in Ashland seized 30 pounds of marijuanaduring a traffic stop, their counterparts in northwestern Ohiomade a big haul as well.
Six men are facing felony drug charges after troopers discovered 907 pounds of pot and thousands of dollars during related traffic stops. The drugs have a street value of more than $4 million.
This is the latest in a crack down on drug trafficking on Ohio highways.
The Ohio State Highway Patrolhas made more drug-related arrests in the first six months of 2013, than in previous years during the same time period.
"It's always been a problem, but we're doing our best now to get to it," said Lt. Raymond Durant, of the drug problems on the roads.
Durant says troopers are slowing down and investigating beyond writing tickets when they notice suspicous signs of criminal activity.
The arrests made in Wood County and Ashland County on Wednesday, are evidence of this.
"By taking his time, looking beyond the normal traffic stop, [the road patrolman] was able to see some criminal indicators," said Lt. Durant.
Troopers pulled over a 2014 Subaru Outback with Massachusetts license plates on the Ohio Turnpike for following too close to a motorhome in front of it. Troopers say the motorhome was also following thevehicle in front of it too closely.
An attempted stop was made on both vehicles but only the driver of the Subaru pulled over at milepost 71. The trooper detected an odor of raw marijuana coming from the car and noticed marijuana on the driver's pants.
A search of the vehicle turned up nearly $10,000 in cash bundles. The driver of the Subaru told troopers he was traveling with the motorhome.
Troopers located the motorhome in a service plaza about six miles away. Troopers stopped the motorhome for the original following too close violation. After detecting an odor of raw marijuana a search of the motorhome turned up the more than 900 pounds of pot as well as more than $4,000 in cash bundles.
The driver of the Subaru, Frankie Junior Layz, 22 and his passenger William Luciano Jr., 33, both of Rochester, NY; and the occupants of the motorhome: Justin T. Gould, 27, of Rochester, NY; Jimmy Pross Jr., 35, of Charlotte, NC; and Jose M. Manzanares, 36, of Houston, TX; were incarcerated in the Wood County Jail and were charged with possession of marijuana and trafficking in marijuana, both second-degree felonies; money laundering, a third-degree felony; and possession of criminal tools, a fifth-degree felony.
During the traffic stop of the motorhome, one suspect fled with his seven year-old son. The suspect was later identified as a known drug violator, of Rochester, NY, and he plans to turn himself in to authorities.