'Trap cars' | An inside look at drug smuggling

6:47 PM, Sep 25, 2013   |    comments
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CLEVELAND -- Drug smugglers, intent on bringing drugs into Northeast Ohio, have a lot of resources at their disposal, specifically, time and money.

And this is what they've come up with, trap cars.

They are absolutely ingenious at transporting hidden contraband while in plain sight, which is one reason these cars are now illegal.

They drive the same roads, the same highways that you do. Drug smugglers are intent on bringing their goods into Northeast Ohio.

"They're always trying to get away from us and we're always trying to catch them," says Lt. Michael Combs.

Combs has seen a lot in his decades with the State Highway Patrol.

But this is something else.

"Trap cars" use hidden compartments to stash all sorts of contraband.

The "hides" can be under seats, in airbag cavities, in bumpers, in false floors or false walls.

But accessing those hides is more complicated than simply popping off the false wall or bumper.

Often, access requires you to manipulate various controls in the correct sequence, like a video game.

For example, here's how you would access this truck's secret compartment: Turn on the ignition, move two toggle switches to the left or right, depress the parking brake, move the seat up, then, the taillights pop out, revealing a hidden compartment.

"Unless you know that combination, you're not going to figure that out," says Combs. "They've very ingenious and very creative in what they do."

But Ohio troopers are just as determined and dogged as the dealers.

They're on the roads too, and they're certainly onto the latest tricks. 


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