Pair face drug charges: Police: Man had meth, marijuana in backpack

Police say they found 46 grams of methamphetamine and 230 grams of marijuana in a backpack which was tossed from a moving vehicle.

The passenger is now facing a Level 2 felony for dealing in methamphetamine.

On March 18, Brown County Sheriff’s Deputy Austin Schonfeld pulled over a vehicle on Gatesville Road driven by Dennis O’Hara, 46, of Jackson Branch Road.

Schonfeld said he saw the only passenger, Michael R. Voelz Jr., 55, of Columbus, throw a backpack out the window.

Deputy Andrew Eggebrecht recovered the bag. In addition to the meth and marijuana, police said they found materials to package and sell the drugs and a silver grinder containing “suspected drug residue,” according to a probable-cause affidavit.

On Voelz’s phone, police said they found several conversations between him and others “consistent with the use and sale of various controlled substances.”

Voelz was arrested and taken to the Brown County jail. Police said he had $1,041 in his wallet.

He was charged with dealing in methamphetamine over 10 grams, a Level 2 felony; dealing in marijuana between 30 grams and 10 pounds, a Level 6 felony; possession of methamphetamine, a Level 6 felony; possession of marijuana, a Class B misdemeanor; and possession of paraphernalia, a Class C misdemeanor.

Schonfeld reported that it “was apparent O’Hara had knowledge” of Voelz dealing in meth, based on the text messages. O’Hara had offered to buy one gram of meth for $90, the report said.

O’Hara was arrested for maintaining a common nuisance by allowing his vehicle to be “unlawfully used for the transportation, sale, delivery or keeping of controlled substances,” the report said.

That charge is a Level 6 felony. O’Hara posted $2,500 bond the day of his arrest and is due in court March 28.

Voelz remains in the Brown County jail on $50,000 bond. He pleaded not guilty and public defender Daniel Reuter was appointed to represent him.

A tentative jury trial date was set for June 21.

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Suzannah Couch grew up in Brown County, reading the Brown County Democrat. A 2013 Franklin College graduate, she covers business, cops/courts, education and arts/entertainment.