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Pair face felony drug charges after Ohio Turnpike stop near Vermilion


BROWNHELM TWP. — A man and a woman from Pennsylvania are facing felony drug charges after State Highway Patrol troopers seized eight ounces of cocaine worth approximately $25,000, following a traffic stop.

Christy Hoffman, 34, of Kitanning, Pa., and her passenger, Robert Spates, 56, of Pittsburgh, both known drug violators, were taken to the Lorain County Jail, according to the patrol.

Troopers stopped a 2000 Chevy Venture minivan with Pennsylvania registration for a marked-lanes violation at 7:57 p.m. Monday on the Ohio Turnpike in Brownhelm Township near Vermilion.

During interaction with the driver, troopers noticed a large rectangular object in the passenger’s pants.

During a pat-down for weapons, troopers seized eight ounces of cocaine that he had concealed.

Hoffman and Spates were each charged with possession and aggravated trafficking in cocaine, both first-degree felonies. If convicted, each could face up to 20 years in prison and up to a $40,000 fine.

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