BOARDMAN, Ohio (WYTV) – Over the weekend, Boardman police found 408 bindles of heroin in the trunk of a car. So what is a bindle and how much heroin is in 408 of them?
Police arrested and charged the driver of that car, 43-year-old Leonard Sykes, Jr.
An officer pulled him over in the parking lot of the Shell Gas Station at Route 224 and South Avenue Saturday morning.
“When he walked up to the car, he could smell an odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. Upon speaking to the driver, he learned that driver admitted to smoking marijuana in the vehicle a short time prior,” said Boardman Police Det. Glenn Patton.
The officer said Sykes’ eyes were red and bloodshot. According to a police report, Sykes said he just smoked marijuana in the car 20 minutes beforehand.
It started as a normal traffic stop because police said Sykes was speeding on 224. But there’s no such thing as a normal traffic stop for law enforcement.
“Unfortunately, drug dealers, criminals, have to transport their illegal contraband somehow and usually it’s by car. [Route] 224 or [Interstate] 680, those can be prime routes for those involved in illegal trade, whether it be drugs or stolen property,” Patton said.
Police found out Sykes was under suspensions and had warrants.
When police searched his car, they found wads of cash, several cell phones, marijuana, tobacco, a bottle of liquor, and a blue plastic bag with something in it, officers said.
That “something” ended up being 408 bindles of suspected heroin, according to the police report. Officers said they found it in the trunk underneath heavy boxed speakers.
“That is a lot of heroin to have in your possession. Each bindle would be approximately one dose,” Patton said.
He said all the heroin adds up to 94 grams with packaging – almost $19,000 worth.
Police said Sykes also had around $3,000 in cash with him.
When the officer told him the amount of drugs he had is a Felony 2, police said he told them “he would just do what other dudes do and tell.” After police told him he was going to lose the cash as well, Sykes said he would just make more, according to the report.
“Sometimes criminals consider forfeiture of assets or confiscation of money as a price of doing business,” Patton said.
Police are happy 408 doses of heroin are off the street.
“It can make a huge difference, a seizure like this,” Patton said. “We hope to make more and try to use this as opportunities to take down those who will prey against the members of our public that do have addiction problems.”
Police are still looking into whether Sykes, who is from Pittsburgh, was coming to the area or leaving.
Sykes made bail but had a court appearance Tuesday.
Patton said law enforcement is always changing, but the heroin epidemic causes officers to be extra careful on calls involving drugs to avoid accidental exposure.