Accused trafficker appears in court

Mexican national arraigned on possession of pounds of drugs

By Maximilian Kwiatkowski -



The first suspect involved in a massive highway drug bust, involving pounds of narcotics, appeared in Madison County Common Pleas Court Wednesday.

Margarito Sanchez, 32, of Mexico, was arraigned on two first degree felony counts of possessing about 2.2 pounds of cocaine and about 2 pounds of methamphetamine. Because of the amount involved, the maximum prison sentence for Sanchez is 10 years for each charge, for a total of 20 years, and a maximum fine of $40,000. Specifications to the charges include forfeiture of cash and vehicles involved with the alleged crime.

Sanchez was given access to an interpreter during the proceedings.

According to a Madison County Sheriff’s report, deputies stopped a black Ford F-150 pick-up driven by Sanchez about 2:30 a.m. on June 9 for failing to display a front Ohio license plate and changing lanes without signaling. The stop occurred in the eastbound lane of the freeway near the State Route 142 interchange.

The report said Sanchez appeared nervous and produced a Washington driver’s license that was found to be fake.

A drug dog borrowed from Hilliard found the pounds of drugs in an amplifier on the vehicle’s floorboard. Another search found several thousand American dollars in the purse of his passenger, Silvia Franco Rodriguez.

Speaking through an interpreter, the 26-year-old woman said the couple was traveling from Texas to the home of her relative in Clarksville, Tenn. Rodriguez’ child was also a passenger in the vehicle.

Lt. Eric Semler, chief investigator for the sheriff’s office, said the street value of the confiscated drugs totaled about $60,000.

The two appeared in Madison County Municipal Court in June on the charges.

A pretrial hearing is scheduled for July 28.

Other cases heard Wednesday:

• Amanda Jones, 36, of London, took a plea agreement to have two of her four charges dropped.

Her sentence will be determined during a hearing on Aug. 10 after a pre-sentencing investigation is completed.

She was charged in two cases, one from 2013 where she was charged with two counts of passing bad checks, both fifth degree felonies and a 2017 case with two charges of escape from custody, one a third degree felony and the other a fifth degree.

The indictment said that she passed two bad checks in early and mid-January 2013.

She was apprehended and taken to Tri-County Regional jail, but was released due to medical reasons. She then failed to appear in court in Jan. 14, 2014 for her arraignment.

Four years later in 2017, she was arrested in London after an officer noticed warrants for her arrest in Madison County Municipal Court as well as the 2013 indictment.

She asked to be taken to the hospital and taken to an emergency room, where she then left without notifying authorities.

• Elvis E. Adkins, 29, currently an inmate at Madison Correctional Institution declined a plea agreement in what he said was “hopes of a better deal or a trial.”

Adkins was asked by the state to plea as charged on possession of a deadly weapon while incarcerated, a third-degree felony.

While preparing to go to trial, Adkins said he and his attorney, William Mooney, disagreed over potential witnesses, prompting the defendant to ask for new counsel.

Judge Eamon Costello declined his motion. Should Mooney find enough of a disagreement with his client on how to proceed he could step away from the case, but another member of Mooney’s firm would take his place.

A jury trial is scheduled for July 25.

• Scott Hart, 43, currently an inmate at Belmont Correctional Institution was sentenced to four years in prison after he pleaded guilty to burglary charges. He is currently serving 12 years for a string of burglaries in Franklin County. The four years will be served consecutive to his current term. His expected release is now 2029.

• Dwayne Jones, 31, currently an inmate at Madison Correctional Institution pleaded guilty to possession of meth, a fifth-degree felony, and was sentenced to an additional nine months consecutive to his current sentence and now is expected to be released in January of 2024.

• Harley D. Definbaugh, 34, of London, was arraigned on a second-degree felony charge of illegal manufacture of drugs and a third-degree felony charge of possessing chemicals for manufacture of drugs, specifically meth on both counts.

Mexican national arraigned on possession of pounds of drugs

By Maximilian Kwiatkowski

Maximilian Kwiatkowski can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1617 or on Twitter @MSFKwiat.

Maximilian Kwiatkowski can be reached at 740-852-1616, ext. 1617 or on Twitter @MSFKwiat.