GALLIPOLIS — David Hansard, 36, of Columbus was recently sentenced in the Gallia Court of Common Pleas for the crime of first-degree felony trafficking in cocaine and ordered to serve 12 and a half years in a state facility.
According to court records, on July 23 Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper Drew Keuhne pulled over a Dodge Caravan that had been traveling at a high rate of speed on US 35.
When Hansard saw the trooper, he reportedly hit his brakes while traveling. Hansard drove over lane fog lines, read criminal reports. As Keuhne pulled out to follow, the van went into a rest area. The trooper drove through the rest area and noticed Hansard smoking a cigarette.
The trooper drove and sat stationary at milepost nine on US 35 before noticing the van again traveling his direction. At milepost nine, law enforcement reportedly noticed the van travel over the fog line again. Keuhne initiated a traffic stop for traffic violations observed near milepost 11.
Reportedly, Hansard was nervous, as per trooper testimony during a trial, said Gallia Prosecutor Jason Holdren.
Hansard told the trooper he was traveling from Columbus to Charleston, W.Va., to reportedly visit family. Hansard was asked to step out and as he walked to the patrol car he was noticed to be walking awkwardly, said the prosecutor.
Eventually a pat down was conducted of Hansard’s person and a package of cocaine discovered being held in the man’s buttocks. Ohio Highway State Patrol measured the cocaine amount to be over 48 grams.
According to the prosecutor, Hansard waived his right to a jury trial instead for a bench trial. Judge Margaret Evans found Hansard guilty.
Hansard was noted to have committed the trafficking crime while on post release control for previous criminal issues.
“He has been given opportunities on probation and has continued trafficking in drugs,” said Holdren. “It’s important to note that he’s been given opportunity after opportunity with post release control but yet he continues to travel with large amounts of drugs throughout the state…He has shown a clear intent to not conform to the law. I think we continue to make it clear that we’re going to send you to prison if that’s what you’re going to do.”
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342.