100+ Lbs. Of Marijuana Found Following I-74 Chase
By Matt Popovich
Dearborn County Law Enforcement Center
(Dearborn County, Ind.) – The transportation of a massive amount of marijuana appears to be a driver’s reason for fleeing police during a high-speed chase in Harrison last week.
Christian C. Castro, 18; Vincente Sanchez-Flores, 35; and a 17-year-old male were arrested in connection with a high-speed chase that began in Indiana and ended on Interstate 74 in Harrison, Ohio the afternoon of Wednesday, October 16. Castro and Sanchez-Flores are both from the Chicago, Illinois area.
According to court documents filed in Dearborn Superior Court I on Friday, an Indiana State Police trooper was patrolling I-74 near the Ohio-Indiana border when he witnessed an Audi A-8 and a Chevrolet Blazer seemingly traveling together, well under the posted speed limit. The trooper found the activity to be suspicious and attempted to stop both vehicles.
The Audi, which was trailing the Blazer, pulled over for the trooper. The Blazer did not stop and crossed into Ohio. The ISP trooper radioed to police in Hamilton County to be on the look-out for the Blazer.
During the investigation of the Audi, the trooper noticed driver Castro and his 17-year-old passenger appeared to be extremely nervous. The trooper also noticed a distinct odor of marijuana emanating from the vehicle.
While the trooper was interviewing Castro, he received information from Ohio troopers that the Blazer had fled from officers in Ohio, crashing into three police vehicles as the driver tried to evade capture. The driver, identified as Sanchez-Flores, eventually stopped on I-74 near the 1 mile marker.
During a search of the wrecked Blazer, Hamilton County Sheriff’s deputies found inside what was estimated to be more than100 pounds of marijuana, according to the affidavit.
After further investigation, Castro informed police that he had been paid $500 to follow Sanchez-Flores. The two vehicles had left from Chicago and were in route to their final destination in Cincinnati. Castro allegedly admitted to police that he had been in contact with Sanchez-Flores via cell-phone during the drive from Chicago to Cincinnati.
Upon a search of Castro’s vehicle, a marijuana cigarette was located. Both Castro and his passenger were detained and taken to jail at the Dearborn County Law Enforcement Center. Castro has been charged with Dealing in Marijuana Over Ten Pounds (Class C felony) and Conspiracy to Commit Dealing in Marijuana Over Ten Pounds (Class C felony). Castro is currently being held in Dearborn County on a $25,000 cash and $25,000 surety bond.
It is unclear if Sanchez-Flores was apprehended following the chase. No record of his arrest was available in either Dearborn or Hamilton counties.