Dayton man allegedly smuggled quarter-ounce of narcotics into Fayette County Jail

A Dayton man who allegedly smuggled a quarter-ounce of narcotics into the Fayette County Jail and distributed the drugs to other inmates has been charged for trafficking and is awaiting trial.

Vercie L. Lark, 36, was brought to the Fayette County Court of Common Pleas last week from the Chillicothe Correctional Institution, where he is serving a year-and-a-half prison sentence for tampering with evidence, a felony of the third degree, and possession of drugs (cocaine), a felony of the fifth degree.

That prison sentence was handed down in the court last November. During his court plea, Lark admitted to concealing Suboxone (a narcotic) inside his rectum during a traffic stop on US 35 with the Ohio State Highway Patrol. According to the trooper’s report, Lark then removed the narcotic while sitting in the patrol car and partially ate it. The trooper took Lark to an emergency room to be treated for a suspected overdose.

Reports state that prior to Lark’s sentencing in November, he was booked into the Fayette County Jail Aug. 18, 2016 on a bench warrant.

A week later, an inmate being transported to another county jail allegedly told the jail staff to “watch his buddies” in the 12-man cell because there was a quarter-ounce of meth, crack and heroin in the cell.

Officers reportedly planned a search of the 12-man cell and during the execution of the search Aug. 27 with K-9 “Dexi,” found a bag containing more than a quarter-ounce of narcotics with Lark. Inside the bag were three separate bags: one bag contained 5.44 grams of a crystalline substance that tested positive for methamphetamine (an illegal stimulant), one bag contained 3.45 grams of a hard brown rock substance that tested positive for fentanyl, and one bag contained .33 grams of an off-white substance that tested positive for cocaine, reports said.

The investigation led to multiple interviews with other inmates in the jail at the time.

Reports in the case file from the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office show that several jail inmates allegedly said Lark had smuggled a substantial amount of narcotics into the jail and that he was giving the narcotics to other inmates.

One of the inmates interviewed said he witnessed other inmates “fall-out” in the shower and on the floor due to ingesting the drugs (fall-out is another term used to describe an opioid overdose).

Lark was subsequently charged April 21 with aggravating trafficking in drugs, a second-degree felony; illegal conveyance of drugs onto the grounds of a detention facility, a third-degree felony; aggravated trafficking in drugs, a third-degree felony; aggravated possession of drugs, a third-degree felony; trafficking in cocaine, a fourth-degree felony; aggravated possession of drugs, a fifth-degree felony; and possession of cocaine, a fifth-degree felony.

During his appearance Aug. 21, Lark was assigned a public defender and his trial date in the case was scheduled for Dec. 20 at 8 a.m.

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Cocaine, fentanyl, meth allegedly found in cell

By Ashley Bunton

Reach Ashley by calling her at (740) 313-0355 or by searching for @ashbunton