What started as a traffic stop over a missing license plate ended in felony drug charges for a man and woman coming through Union County.
The Union County Grand Jury has indicted Lillian Jane McWilliams and Gasumu B. Kumara. Both are charged with first-degree felony possession of cocaine and first-degree felony trafficking in cocaine, along with other charges.
According to court documents, at about 2:14 p.m., May 22, Sgt. Matthew Himes of the Ohio State Highway Patrol noticed a 2007 Dodge Charger, driving west on U.S. 33. The car did not have a front license plate and was being followed closely by another vehicle that he believed was traveling with the Charger. Himes stopped the car and called for backup. The Charger did not pull over immediately and drove on the berm for “an abnormal amount of time before coming to a stop” Himes wrote.
When the officer went to the car, he smelled marijuana and noticed that neither the driver or passenger would make eye contact.
The driver, Kamara, identified himself as Raheem Gbor and gave the officer a driver’s license identifying him as Gbor. McWilliams gave the officer her name, but said she didn’t have identification on her.
Himes began talking to the driver and eventually asked him to come back to his cruiser with him. He asked Kamara to open his mouth.
“I could clearly see that the suspect was attempting to ingest marijuana that was inside his mouth,” Himes wrote. “…He was instructed to spit out the marijuana that he was attempting to destroy and voluntarily complied.”
Himes collected the discarded marijuana, handcuffed Kamara and put him in the back of the cruiser. He then went back to speak with McWilliams. She was also handcuffed and put in the cruiser.
Himes began a search of the vehicle when Marysville Police Officer David Nist, along with the Marysville K-9 unit, and another Highway Patrol officer arrived at the scene.
According to the police report, marijuana was found on the floor, on the driver’s seat and in the trunk of the car.
Kamara told Himes that McWilliams was the mother of a friend and they were going from Columbus, back to Bellefontaine.
Kamara and McWilliams were eventually moved from Himes’ vehicle to another car so Himes could review the in-car footage of Kamara and McWilliams. In the video, the pair can be heard talking about drugs in McWilliams’ hair.
“The passenger then leans over towards the driver and the driver removed a baggie of contraband that was concealed in the passenger’s hair bun while being handcuffed,” Himes wrote.
In the video, Kamara is then seen tossing the baggie onto the floor in front of McWilliams who attempted to hide it by kicking it under the Officer’s seat.
Himes looked in his car and found the baggie.
The officer arrested Kamara and McWilliams and told them they would be taken to jail.
“Neither suspect at this time voluntarily made any statements regarding the cocaine other than they did not know anything about it,” Himes wrote.
When Himes arrived at Tri-County Regional Jail, Kamara and McWilliams were told they would be scanned for additional drugs.
“Lillian voluntarily admitted to being in possession of another baggie inside her vagina,” Himes wrote. “When I asked her (what) was inside of the bag, she replied that she did not know.”
The woman was taken to another room where she removed a baggie from inside herself.
Union County Prosecutor Dave Phillips said the bag of alleged cocaine in the car weighed 32 grams and McWilliams had another 27 grams of suspected cocaine inside her.
Kamara, 26, whose court-listed address is the Tri-County Regional Jail, is charged with one count each of possession of cocaine, tampering with evidence and obstructing official business and two counts each of trafficking in cocaine and identity fraud. If convicted, he could face more than 27 years in prison.
McWilliams, 37, of Bellefontaine, is charged with two counts of possession of cocaine, two counts of trafficking in cocaine and one count each of tampering with evidence and illegal conveyance of drugs. If convicted, she could face as many as 30 years in prison.
Phillips said it is difficult to quantify how much cocaine the pair had.
“There is no such thing as a typical dose, but it is far less than a gram,” Phillips said, adding that a user might consume about one third of a gram in a single use.
He classified the cocaine as “a significant amount.”
Phillips said, when he began in the prosecutor’s office, cocaine use was more prevalent.
“Cocaine has kind of fallen by the wayside,” Phillips said. “It hasn’t gone away, obviously, but you don’t see it like you used to.”
Also indicted were:
-Vernon Eldon Swinning, 39, whose court listed address is the Tri-County Regional Jail. Swinning is charged with one count of abusing harmful intoxicants stemming from a June 16 incident in a Marysville Park. Swinning had at least four convictions for the same offense in 2017. If convicted on the most recent charge, Swinning could face as many as 12 months in prison.
-Codefendants Robert Charles Lane, Alyssa M. Carver, Kenneth E. Czarnecki and Samantha K. Righter. The defendants, along with others, are already facing charges in connection to their roles in an alleged drug manufacturing and sale ring.
In January, the Union County Multi-Agency Drug Enforcement (MADE) Task Force raided a home at 21378 Titus Road in Raymond. Inside the home, investigators found drugs, cash, drug paraphernalia, a drug ledger, a safe with cash, equipment to manufacture and distribute drugs and a variety of weapons.
Law enforcement officials said the investigation included heroin, methamphetamines, cocaine, “every type of drug.”
Several individuals were charged with drug and probation related charges at that time. In March, the grand jury made additional indictments. Since then, the grand jury has on several occasions expanded the list of charges and defendants.
“We have amended the charges as new information has been uncovered,” Phillips said.
He said he realizes the charges could seem excessive and repetitive, but he explained that his office recently encountered an issue at trial and he believes the best strategy to avoid the issue in the future is to indict defendants for each recognized offense and establish a pattern.
Lane, 29, of 214 N. Maple St., Marysville, is charged with 56 counts of corrupting another with drugs and 23 counts of trafficking in heroin If convicted on all counts, Lane could face as m any as 471 years in prison.
Carver, 25, of 18708 Main St., Raymond, is charged with two counts of corrupting another with drugs and one count of trafficking in heroin. If convicted, Carver could face as many as 19 years in prison.
Czarnecki, 50, of 117-1/2 E. Fifth St., Marysville, is charged with two counts of corrupting another with drugs and one count of trafficking in heroin. He could face as many as 19 years in prison if convicted.
Righter, 31, of 305 Maple St., Plain City, is charged with four counts of corrupting another with drugs and two counts of trafficking in heroin. Righter could face as many as 34 years in prison if convicted.
– Tyler Jacob Hawk, 25, of 11480 U.S. 36, Lot 116, Marysville. Hawk is charged with one count of possession of heroin stemming from a June 18 incident. If convicted, Hawk could face as many as 12 months in prison.
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