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Two in jail after heroin bust on turnpike

Tom Jackson • Aug 1, 2014 at 10:00 PM


Two inmates remained in Erie County Jail Friday after they were arrested for allegedly smuggling 188 small packages of heroin on the Ohio Turnpike.

Trooper Bryan Holden was on patrol on the turnpike near U.S. 250 at about 9 a.m. Saturday when he pulled over a car for following too close. Inside the car were Kurt Leinenbach, 38, Cabot, Pa., and Richard Williams, 36, Butler, Pa., who both now face charges of trafficking in heroin and possession of heroin, both fourth degree felonies, said Lt. Brett Gockstetter of the Milan post of the Ohio Highway Patrol.

Gockstetter said when Holden pulled over the 1994 Ford Ranger pickup truck, he noticed that the two men appeared to be extremely nervous and were shaking. Despite insisting that they were friends driving across the country, the two men did not appear to know each other well. One man knew only the first name of the other man. They also offered conflicting stories about their travel plans. 

Holden became suspicious and detained the men until Uganda, the Perkins Township Police Department's drug searching dog, could be summoned to the scene. Uganda put his nose into the job and indicated that there were drugs present. The packages of heroin were found in a bag in the truck's bed, Gockstetter said.

"You don't typically get much bigger busts of heroin," Gockstetter said.

The Perkins Township Police Department posted photographs of the drugs and of Uganda on the department's Facebook page to announce the drug bust.

"This is just another example of law enforcement working together and sharing resources whenever possible," the police department posted. "Great Job Uganda!"

The two men have been charged in Erie County, Gockstetter said. The online jail roster showed that the two remained in jail Friday afternoon. The men have been questioned and the investigation is continuing, Gockstetter said. 

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