Meth trafficker from Blanchester forfeits vehicle, cash

By Gary Huffenberger -



WILMINGTON — A Blanchester woman received an eight-month prison term after she was found guilty of trafficking in methamphetamine.

Christina E. Stover, 26, already was serving a prison term at the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville in a separate Warren County case when she was sentenced here. Her Clinton County prison term will be served concurrently with the Warren County term, according to court papers.

In the Clinton County case, Stover received sanctions in addition to the prison term: She was ordered to forfeit $750 found in her vehicle on Nov. 15, 2016 when Blanchester police placed her in custody based on three active warrants. She also has to forfeit her vehicle, a 2012 Chevrolet Cruze.

The cash and vehicle are forfeited to the Blanchester Police Department.

During the court proceedings, Clinton County Public Defender Rob Baker filed a Motion to Suppress evidence found during the Nov. 15, 2016 arrest of Stover at a car wash in Blanchester. Baker claimed the search of Stover’s vehicle violated her constitutional rights to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.

When Stover pled guilty in a plea deal to the trafficking charge, she and her attorney withdrew the pending Motion to Suppress. In brief, Baker had argued that once the defendant was searched on scene and placed into custody for the warrants, the vehicle should have been locked and secured, not searched.

According to the public defender, when a Blanchester police officer searched the vehicle, the officer found a locked lock box that he was unable to open.

“He [the police officer] left the lock box in the vehicle and returned to the car at a later time on orders from Chief Reinbolt, retrieved the locked lock box, took it back to the station and proceeded to open it where he found the illegally obtained items,” wrote Baker in his memorandum in support of his Motion to Suppress. At a different spot in the memorandum, Baker acknowledged that what was found inside the lock box was “illegal contraband.”

The court case file did not contain a memorandum written by prosecution arguing against the pending Motion to Suppress.

The eight-month prison term for Stover was jointly recommended by defense counsel and prosecution, stated a court paper. The defendant was granted time credit for 133 days she had already spent incarcerated.

In other recent sentences handed down in Clinton County Common Pleas Court:

• Charles D. Rhinesmith, 36, of Wilmington, has had his term of community controls extended until the last day of 2019. Originally, the case involved a conviction for possessing drugs. Rhinesmith was given a two-year term of community controls in April 2017, but in September 2017 he was alleged to have violated community controls. On Dec. 18, 2017, he was accepted into the You-Turn Recovery Docket — the local drug court.

• Steven Gilbert, 51, of Clarksville, received a nine-month prison term after he was convicted of burglary. Time credit was granted for 85 days already spent in incarceration in the case.

• Alex S. Gruber, 30, of Wilmington, saw his term of community controls revoked this month, and subsequently received a 12-month prison sentence. The original 2014 case led to a conviction for receiving stolen property.

Gruber received credit toward the prison term for 178 days he had already served in custody in the case.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.


By Gary Huffenberger