YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Sentencing will be Nov. 28 for a man who pleaded guilty Thursday to his third federal drug charge.
Patrick O’Meara, 55, entered pleas before U.S. Judge Pamela A. Barker in the U.S. Northern District Court of Ohio to two counts of possession of cocaine and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
He was indicted Dec. 15 by a federal grand jury following a November traffic stop by the Ohio State Highway Patrol on Interstate 80 in Trumbull County.
Reports said troopers found four kilos of cocaine in a duffel bag in the trunk along with a shotgun, a .40-caliber handgun and $85,000 cash.
The drugs were found after the trooper asked for a drug-sniffing dog from the Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office to come to the traffic stop because he thought O’Meara’s behavior was very nervous.
O’Meara was pulled over near mile marker 216 because the trooper said he had been following too closely behind another car.
O’Meara’s attorneys asked for any evidence found during the stop to be suppressed, claiming that the trooper had no reason to pull O’Meara over, had no reason to search the car, and that they prolonged the stop so the dog could have time to arrive.
Judge Barker ruled that the trooper did have probable cause to pull O’Meara over and to search his car, and the stop was not prolonged because the trooper had a legitimate reason to ask for a dog.
This is the third time O’Meara has been charged with a federal drug crime. He has two previous convictions in 2003 and 2011.