GALLIPOLIS — A Gallipolis man is headed back to prison on drug trafficking charges two years after serving time for a prior drug conviction.
Levi T. Coughenour was given 12 months in the Ohio Department of Correction and Rehabilitation as part of a plea deal for drug trafficking, a fifth-degree felony. As part of the deal, Coughenour was also ordered to forfeit $500 cash and a 2000 Grand Prix to the Gallipolis Police Department. The cash and car were seized at the time of Coughenour’s arrest.
On March 29, Gallia County prosecutors say Gallipolis police stopped Coughenour’s car inside the city limits. During the stop, officers discovered seven individually wrapped small plastic bags containing methamphetamine concealed inside a flashlight. Police also uncovered pills, a glass pipe and the aforementioned $500.
“Subsequent investigation into this matter revealed that (Coughenour) was selling the methamphetamine that was packaged and located in his vehicle,” Gallia County Prosecutor Jeff Adkins said.
Coughenour was indicted shortly thereafter by the Gallia County Grand Jury and the criminal prosecution began at that time, Adkins said.
Assistant Prosecutor Eric Mulford said Coughenour had a prior conviction for drug possession in 2012 and, at that time, was ordered to serve one year in prison.
“Here we are again, two years after (Coughenour) was released from prison, and we have yet another situation with him and drugs, specifically methamphetamine,” he said. “Based upon the prior conviction from 2012, we were able to successfully pursue the maximum prison term of 12 months for a fifth-degree felony under Ohio law.”
Assistant Prosecutor Britt T. Wiseman credited Gallipolis police for making the stop and conducting a thorough investigation that uncovered the cash and drug paraphernalia.
“The seven plastic bags of methamphetamine and the other pills that were discovered that night by the officers are now destroyed and out of our community,” he said. “These are the same drugs that fuel the underground drug economy which, in turn, feeds the break-ins and thefts we see. Locating these drugs, those who sell them, and getting these drugs off of our streets and away from our community has been — and remains — the top priority for the law enforcement community in Gallia County.”
Reach Michael Johnson at 740-446-2342, ext. 2102, or on Twitter @OhioEditorMike.