Updated Tue, Feb 25, 2014 5:35 pm
An Ohio University student was arrested Tuesday for allegedly having more than 50 grams of cocaine. The arrest was made as part of a crackdown on an alleged drug trafficking ring that has involved former Ohio University football players, according to the Athens County Prosecutor's Office.
"This is a drug ring that we've had knowledge of," said Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn. "With this arrest, we've got pretty close to the top of the ring."
Cory Bohache, 21, of Athens, was arrested Tuesday by the Athens Police Department after being indicted by an Athens County grand jury on Monday. The grand jury charged Bohache with one count of trafficking in cocaine, a first-degree felony, one count of trafficking in marijuana, a fourth-degree felony, and a count of possession of cocaine, a third-degree felony. The possession of cocaine charge was one gram short of qualifying for a second-degree felony.
If convicted Bohache could face up to 15 1/2 years in prison, 11 of which would be mandatory.
Bohache is accused of selling 29.09 grams of cocaine and 14.65 grams of marijuana to a confidential informant at his residence, 20 N. Congress St, on Jan. 18. A search warrant was obtained and investigators found an additional 27 grams of cocaine at his residence, which is also within 1,000 feet of a school.
The case was also investigated by the Ohio University Police Department.
It is believed that Bohache is a member of the Ohio University club baseball team, however when contacted Tuesday, team President Michael Toward would not confirm whether Bohache was on the team and would not comment on the matter. Blackburn also could not confirm whether Bohache is a member of the team.
Testing by the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation confirmed the drugs as cocaine and marijuana, according to a news release from the prosecutor's office.
According to Blackburn, the cocaine seizure is one of the largest in the history of Athens. Last year, officials seized 198 grams of cocaine from Kimari Anderson, Ebony Saunders and Travis Croson in a traffic stop. The trio were transporting the drug through the county on their way to North Carolina. This case, Blackburn said, is of significance because it shows that bulk amounts of cocaine was being brought in and sold to people in Athens County.
He also said this case should send a message to students.
"I hope it sends the message to students that are trying to sell (drugs) that if you try, you're looking at some major charges and major prison time," Blackburn said.
The investigation — which Blackburn said is still ongoing — has brought the identification of "pieces of the (drug) ring." He said it was important to "keep things quiet" in regards to the investigation and the drug buy so officials could gather as much information as quickly as possible.
"From the time we first put (the investigation) together to the actual sale was less than a month and a half," Blackburn said.
Blackburn alleged that Bohache is part of a drug ring that also relates to the arrests of two former OU football players.
Lorenzo Fisher, 21, and Greg Windham, 20, both took plea deals in previous cases, which included accusations that they had sold MDMA, a drug also known as ecstasy.
Fisher agreed to a plea deal that was conditional upon his testifying against former teammate Thomas Omar Leftwich. Blackburn did not confirm whether Leftwich may also have been involved in the alleged drug ring.
Leftwich is charged with drug possession in a 2013 case and is facing charges in a separate case of possession of a controlled substance analog.
Bohache's arrest brings to light a trend in the city limits, Blackburn said.
"Cocaine has always been an outskirt, outlier drug, but now it's making a move back toward campus," Blackburn said.
Cocaine and heroin are not being made within the city limits or the county limits, though, but are being transported in. Blackburn said some cities that are now becoming drug origins for the Athens city and county cases are Detroit, Dayton, Columbus and Charleston.
Bohache is currently incarcerated in the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail and is scheduled to be in Athens County Common Pleas Court on Wednesday for an arraignment. Blackburn told The Messenger that he will ask of a bond of $100,000.