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Unity man accused of transporting pot valued at $340,000

| Saturday, April 28, 2012, 1:24 a.m.

A Unity man is accused of having 150 pounds of marijuana, valued at more than $340,000, in his vehicle during a traffic stop during the weekend in western Ohio.

James R. Santopiepro, 28, of 3003 Harcourt Drive, was charged Monday with possession of marijuana and possession of crime tools, both graded as felonies, according to the Ohio Highway Patrol.

He was expected to be arraigned on the charges today in county court, police said.

Troopers said they stopped Santopiepro's 2004 Ford pickup about 12:10 p.m. Saturday for allegedly following another vehicle too closely on Interstate 70.

Authorities said a police dog indicated the possible presence of drugs in the vehicle, and the vehicle was searched.

Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. Tony Bradshaw said Santopiepro gave no indication of where he was going when stopped.

Santopiepro was being held in the county prison while awaiting arraignment.

If convicted, he could face up to nine years in prison and a $17,500 fine, police said.

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