New Carlisle man sentenced after police find large amount of drugs, money in his car

A New Carlisle man has been sentenced to five years in prison after police found cocaine, heroin and over $200,000 in his car while he was pulled over.

Juan Hernandez Barajas, 31, pleaded guilty to two counts of drug possession and one count of drug trafficking on June 30, according to online court records. As a result of the plea Barajas also had to forfeit $205,170 in cash to law enforcement.

The cash will be used for further prosecution of drug offenses and for drug abuse education in Clark County, Clark County Prosecutor Daniel Driscoll said.

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Barajas was arrested on June 7, 2019 after the Ohio State Highway Patrol pulled him over on I-70 for assured clear distance, according to an affidavit filed in the case.

“The trooper made contact with the driver and identified him as the defendant, Juan Hernandez Barajas,” the affidavit said. “The trooper called a drug-sniffing K9 to the scene. Upon the K9 unit’s arrival, the K9 was deployed and gave a positive indication to the odor of illegal narcotics.

Troopers found an orange air compressor in the bed of the truck that didn’t appear normal, the affidavit said.

“They had discovered a random wire coming from the tank,” the affidavit said. “Due to past intelligence of similar drug trafficking traps, they hooked up a battery to the wire and the tank opened. Inside the tank a large quantity of US currency wrapped in plastic.”

A search warrant was then obtained for Barajas’ place of employment in New Carlisle, the affidavit said, where detectives found more money.

OSP also found “empty kilo wrapping containers, a bag of white substance suspected to be cocaine and a digital scale,” in the office, according to the affidavit.

In addition, detectives found a large bag of suspected heroin described as weighing approximately 100 grams inside the glove box of a truck on the workplace property, the affidavit said.

Barajas, who is not a U.S. citizen, Driscoll said, may be subject to deportation after his five-year prison term.

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