Troopers make one of largest pot busts of year in Ohio, seizing hundreds of pounds of marijuana

DAYTON, Ohio - Ohio State Highway Patrol made one of its biggest busts of 2012, seizing more than $1 million worth of pot in a traffic stop near Dayton.

An Arizona man who troopers said had fictitious U.S. government registration was stopped after an improper lane change in Preble County Thursday.

During a search, troopers said they found 36 vacuum-sealed and shrink-wrapped bundles of marijuana, weighing approximately 743 pounds, hidden in the van's cargo area.

The 37-year-old driver, Isaac Chavez, was put in jail and charged with possession of marijuana, possession of criminal tools and fictitious registration. Chavez could face as many as nine years in prison and as much as a $12,500 fine.

Troopers said this was the second largest marijuana bust of the year. In March, they seized 2,500 pounds of pot on Interstate 70 in Madison County.

Drug busts have increased even more in 2012, according to Ohio State Highway Patrol, which said that through October, 151 percent more marijuana and 295 percent more heroin have been confiscated than in 2011.

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