[Editor’s note: This article has been updated to reflect that the suspect, Cornell J. Harp, was not released from jail on a $250,000 bond, as initially stated to FOX 8 by jail officials.]
FREEDOM TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WJW) — Portage County deputies seized 24 pounds of methamphetamine pills connected to a Mexican drug cartel during a traffic stop last week.
Deputies on Feb. 1 stopped Cornell J. Harp, a 49-year-old Georgia man, for following a semi truck too closely along Interstate 80, and changing lanes without signaling, according to a police report.
They spotted “criminal indicators” and requested to search the vehicle, but were denied, according to a Facebook post by the department. They then brought in a K-9 officer, who smelled drugs in the car.
Deputies found several bags of multi-colored pills in a cargo area in the vehicle’s rear hatch, weighing in total about 24 pounds. They were first believed to be MDMA, or ecstasy, and testing later confirmed they had methamphetamine.
Harp admitted he brought the pills from out of state, and he was headed to a destination near Portage County in Ohio, according to the post.
“It was determined that the narcotics seized in this case are in direct connection with the Mexican drug cartel,” reads the post.
Deputies believe the more than 53,000 pills seized were going to be sold as ecstasy pills. At $25 per pill, deputies estimated the street value at about $1.34 million.
Harp was arraigned Feb. 2 on a first-degree felony count of trafficking in drugs. He pleaded not guilty to the traffic offenses.
He was jailed on a $25,000 bond, which was later amended to $250,000, court records show. He’s due back in court on Friday, Feb. 10, for a preliminary hearing.
Harp has a prior federal conviction for dealing crack cocaine, and was also caught intending to distribute crack, according to deputies.