Forty-eight vehicles were stopped in Fayette County over a three-day period as part of a collaborative law enforcement effort to intercept illegal narcotics being transported by vehicles on highways into local communities.
From Nov. 20-22, deputies and detectives with the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office, Washington C.H. Police Department, Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office, Ross County Sheriff’s Office, US 23 Major Crimes Task Force, Bureau of Criminal Investigation (B.C.I.), the Ohio State Highway Patrol, and Circleville Police Department conducted the “criminal patrol highway interdiction” between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day in their respective jurisdictions, according to Jon Long, a major at the Ross County Sheriff’s Office and commander of the US 23 Major Crimes Task Force.
“This interdiction effort was also intended to promote the safety of motorists during their pre-holiday travels by enforcing traffic laws on interstates, highways and streets,” said Long, formerly a lieutenant at the Washington Police Department.
The focus of the three-day interdiction was on highways (Interstate 71, US Route 35, US Route 23 and State Route 104), which are known conduits for illegal drugs being transported for distribution into the communities, according to Long. Targeted enforcement efforts were also made on known or suspected locations in each jurisdiction for illegal drug trafficking.
In Fayette County, 48 vehicles were stopped, 13 total enforcement actions were made, nine driving under suspension charges were made, 35 warnings were given, one felony arrest was made, eight misdemeanor arrests were made, three felony drug cases and five misdemeanor drug cases were started, and one vehicle was forfeited.
Also in Fayette County, 22.2 grams of marijuana, 23.4 grams of cocaine, .5 grams of psilocybin, 1.6 grams of methamphetamine, and seven unknown pills were seized.
The three-day aggregate totals for Fayette, Pickaway and Ross counties were: 272 total vehicle stops, 48 total enforcement actions, one OVI citation, 27 driving under suspension charges, 114 other misdemeanor citations, 153 warnings, 76 assists, one defect, 10 felony arrests, 16 misdemeanor arrests, 10 felony drug cases, seven misdemeanor drug cases, one weapons arrest, seven misdemeanor warrant arrests, and four felony warrant arrests.
The total narcotics seized were: 1.6 pounds of marijuana, 23.4 grams of cocaine, three grams of crack, .3 grams of heroin, .5 grams of psilocybin, 3.2 grams of methamphetamine, 58.8 grams of fentanyl, and 405 grams of unknown brown powder. Two vehicles were forfeited and the amount of property seized was $2,867.
This operation was the result of a four-day training – two days of classroom and two days of practical application – with officers from the participating agencies. Long served as the training coordinator for the criminal interdiction unit.
“This combined enforcement effort was a success by any measure,” Long wrote to participating law enforcement agencies. “The partnering of officers from different agencies allowed important friendships to be formed and information and investigative tactics to be shared and learned. I am planning on future organized interdiction efforts in the future and hope that you, too, see the value of continued collaborative enforcement efforts among agencies.”
Reach Ryan Carter at 740-313-0352 or on Twitter @rywica