YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A jury in federal court Wednesday found an Illinois woman guilty of having four kilos of cocaine in her car during a local traffic stop.
The jury in the U.S. Northern District Court of Ohio found Tashe Goins, 32, guilty of one count of possession with intent to distribute cocaine following a brief one-day trial that was held before U.S. Judge Sara Lioi.
Sentence is set for Jan. 26 before Judge Lioi.
The charge stems from a June 16, 2020, traffic stop on Interstate 80 in Braceville when troopers with the Ohio State Highway Patrol pulled over a car Goins was driving for a lane violation.
Goins told the trooper she was on her way to Pittsburgh from Chicago, according to an affidavit in the case.
A police dog was brought in and detected an odor of narcotics, the affidavit. Troopers searched the car and found the cocaine in a suitcase in the back seat, according to the affidavit.
Earlier in the case, attorneys for Goins filed a motion to suppress evidence in the case, saying there was no reason for her car to be pulled over by troopers. The trooper also had no reason to have the dog examine the car and he could have merely written Goins a citation, her attorneys said.
Goins also gave several statements after the drugs were found that should also be suppressed, the attorneys wrote.
Judge Lioi denied the motion, saying that Goins had committed two traffic violations and when she opened up her glove box to get the registration for the car, the trooper spotted a large pack of rubber bands inside, which are frequently used by drug dealers to secure rolls of money. When the trooper asked Goins to step out of the vehicle, she rolled up the windows and locked the door, which is unusual at a traffic stop, Judge Lioi wrote.
That was enough to allow the trooper to have reasonable suspicion to allow the dog to sniff the car, Judge Lioi wrote.