WILMINGTON — A local grand jury has indicted a Texas semi-truck driver who earlier was arrested on Interstate 71 in Clinton County in connection with carrying over 11 pounds of cocaine in the tractor-trailer cab.
In addition to first-degree felony counts of cocaine trafficking and possession, the indictment includes a charge that alleges the vehicle had a hidden compartment in which there were the 11½ pounds of cocaine and a loaded handgun behind the bags of cocaine.
Terrence Michael Sample Jr., 27, of Katy, Texas, was arrested in March on northbound I-71 in the county at the commercial vehicle weigh station.
He originally was charged with possession of and trafficking in cocaine. The specific name of the new felony charge in the indictment is “designing or operating a vehicle with a hidden compartment used to transport a controlled substance”.
This newest charge is a felony of the second degree, according to a copy of the indictment.
In a media release back in March, the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) stated the 11-plus pounds of cocaine plus 5 grams of marijuana that also were seized were worth $433,792.
According to an affidavit by an OSHP trooper, the trooper performed an inspection on the tractor-trailer due to a safety violation, which the affidavit does not specify the nature of.
“… when the door to the tractor-trailer was opened a strong smell of marijuana was evident,” the affidavit stated.
The trooper states he observed a large bag of marijuana in the cab of the tractor-trailer and the driver indicated he was not aware of the bag. After further investigation, “a hidden compartment” was located inside the tractor-trailer cab.
In an April 29 motion to suppress evidence, Sample’s defense attorney Richard L. Federle Jr. states Sample and his commercial vehicle “were randomly searched” by the highway patrol and by the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office upon Sample “lawfully entering the weigh station.”
The same grand jury indicted Phillip Bowling, 41, of the Sabina area, on five counts of theft and 12 counts of forgery. All the charges stem from alleged actions involving another person’s bank checking account.
The alleged activity reportedly occurred in July 2018.
The grand jury indicted the following people on the same day:
• David J. Sannan, 46, of Wilmington, is indicted on three counts of violating a protection order or a consent agreement.
• Joseph E. Bryant, 31, of Wilmington, is indicted on two counts of failing to appear in court.
• Glen E. Hafer II, 28, of Greenfield, is indicted on two counts of failing to appear in court.
• Matthew R. Woodruff, 34, of Wilmington, is indicted with failing to appear in court.
• Bryan K. Marquardt, 44, of Wilmington, is indicted with failing to appear in court.
• Devan Joseph Macke, 25, of Blanchester, was indicted with failing to appear in court. The defendant entered a plea of guilty to failing to appear, and will be sentenced on May 30.
• Astasia A. Deaton, 29, of Hillsboro, is indicted with failing to appear in court.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.