Complaint filed against man who troopers said had 20 kilos of cocaine in car

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The trooper who pulled him over on I-76 in Mahoning County said there were over a dozen bricks of cocaine in the SUV

DEA arrested Benjamin Ortiz ledezma on drug charges

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A criminal complaint was filed Tuesday in federal court against a man who prosecutors say had 20 kilograms of cocaine in his SUV when he was pulled over Sunday by state troopers.

Benjamin Ortiz Ledezma, 38, has been in the Mahoning County Jail since Sunday after a trooper pulled him over on Interstate 76 east in Milton Township for several traffic violations.

A complaint filed Tuesday in the U.S. Northern District Court of Ohio charges Ledezma, address unavailable, with possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance.

An affidavit with the criminal complaint said a trooper noticed the SUV about 9:05 p.m. Sunday traveling 20 miles per hour below the posted speed limit while also making several quick lane changes.

After the SUV was pulled over, Ledezma told the trooper he was trying to make a call on his cell phone, the affidavit said.

Ledezma appeared very nervous because he was sweating profusely.

He did not have a driver’s license, but did give the trooper a Mexican identification card and told the trooper he was on his way to do a construction job, the affidavit said.

The trooper called for a drug sniffing dog, which detected the smell of drugs from the back of the SUV, the complaint said. When troopers searched the SUV, they found large bricks of cocaine in the cargo area of the SUV, the affidavit said.

The troopers continued searching and found an additional 16 bricks of cocaine underneath the spare tire, the affidavit said.

The total weight of all bricks was 20 kilograms, according to the affidavit.

Ledezma is expected to have his initial court appearance Thursday via video before U.S. Magistrate Judge Carmen E. Henderson.

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