Ohio

Task forces seize over $29 million in narcotics in Ohio this year

Ohio – More than $29 million in illegal drugs have been seized in Ohio this year, resulting in over 100 people charged.

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said 200 criminal charges have been filed against 102 people in 2020.

“Drug dealers don’t worry about social distancing, and they didn’t take 2020 off,” Yost said. “Expanded funding through RecoveryOhio was integral to our success, and I’m grateful for our partnership with Gov. DeWine and Homeland Security Investigations – the return on funding is evident in these success stories.”

Drugs seized include 87 pounds of fentanyl, 168 pounds of methamphetamine, 135 pounds of cocaine, eight pounds of heroin, 3,117 pounds of marijuana. Authorities also seized 106 guns and $6,640,020 in cash.

“I’m incredibly grateful for the work of Ohio’s new drug interdiction task forces and the investigators who are working tirelessly to stop the flow of illegal drugs into our country and state,” Gov. Mike DeWine said. “I have no doubt that their work saves lives. These enforcement efforts are critical to our comprehensive RecoveryOhio plan to prevent the sale, distribution, and use of illegal drugs throughout Ohio, as well as to expand law enforcement’s role in preventing substance abuse through prevention, education and proactive outreach.”

DeWine said the task forces were funded through RecoveryOhio in collaboration with the Ohio Department of Public Safety and the Ohio Criminal Justice Services.

Yost shared since 2012, the Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission (OOCIC) major drug interdiction task forces have seized narcotics with an estimated value of $180,570,318, including 509 pounds of heroin, 461 pounds of fentanyl, 845 pounds of methamphetamine, 1,293 pounds of cocaine and 14,643 pounds of marijuana.

The task forces have also seized $62,047,318 and 729 firearms over the same time period.

Here are more details on arrests and seizures for each task force from Yost:

Licking, Muskingum and Guernsey Major Drug Interdiction Task Force

The task force is made up of the sheriff’s offices in Coshocton, Guernsey, Knox, Licking, Muskingum, and Perry counties; Ohio State Highway Patrol; U.S. Postal Inspector and Homeland Security Investigations; and Licking County Prosecutor’s Office.

  • Significant drug seizures: 24 pounds of cocaine, 45 pounds of methamphetamine
  • Estimated street value: $3,397,816
  • Firearms seized: 12
  • Cash seized: $95,230
  • Number of people indicted: 19
  • Criminal counts: 45

One operation netted more than $177,000, 40 pounds of methamphetamine and three handguns from a single traffic stop.

Medina and Summit Major Drug Interdiction Task Force

The task force includes the Medina County and Summit County sheriff’s offices; the Copley Township Police Department; Homeland Security Investigations; the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency; the Medina County Drug Task Force; the Ohio State Highway Patrol; the Summit County Drug Task Force, and the prosecutor’s offices in Medina County and in Summit County.

  • Significant drug seizures: 37 pounds of cocaine, 11 pounds of fentanyl, 24 pounds of methamphetamine
  • Estimated street value: $3,487,441
  • Firearms seized: 23
  • Cash seized: $2,002,693
  • Number of people indicted: 19
  • Criminal counts: 45

In March, a task force arrest led to the seizure of 6.6 pounds of fentanyl and $30,000. The next month, the task force interdicted $774,830 from an individual traveling between New York City and Chicago who had made suspicious money transfers to Colombia. In August, four men from New York City were stopped by the Highway Patrol with $64,140 in cash headed toward Cleveland. In a second interdiction the same month, 1,168 Oxycodone pills – to be transported from Akron to Detroit – were seized from a hotel.

Hamilton County Major Drug Interdiction Task Force

The task force consists of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, the Regional Narcotics Unit (RENU), Homeland Securities Investigations and the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office.

  • Significant drug seizures: 43 pounds of fentanyl, 42 pounds of methamphetamine
  • Estimated street value: $7,576,535
  • Firearms seized: 59
  • Cash seized: $3,558,272
  • Number of people indicted: 30
  • Criminal counts: 36

In April, the task force completed a case involving individuals who were trafficking marijuana from the greater Cincinnati area. The packages interdicted included 99.27 pounds of marijuana, $315,472, 18 firearms, body armor, 70 1-ounce vape cartridges, 18 grams of hash and 980 packages of THC candy. An August operation resulted in the arrest of three people who were charged with felony possession and trafficking charges for possessing more than 57 pounds of marijuana, a small amount of cocaine and MDMA, more than $750,000 in cash, one handgun and one shotgun.

Central Ohio Major Drug Interdiction Task Force

The task force includes the Columbus Division of Police, the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, the Gahanna Police Department, the Internal Revenue Service, Homeland Security Investigations, the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the U.S. Postal Inspector, the Ohio HIDTA, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of Ohio, and the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office.

  • Significant drugs seizures: 69 pounds of cocaine, 32 pounds of fentanyl, 54 pounds of methamphetamine, 8 pounds of heroin, 2,275 pounds of marijuana
  • Estimated street value: $15,059,136
  • Cash seized: $736,862
  • Number of people indicted: 7
  • Criminal counts: 7

In February, the task force announced the indictment in Franklin County of an individual on charges of possessing 2 pounds of fentanyl, 1/4 pound of heroin and $14,000.

Toledo Major Drug Interdiction Task Force

The task force includes the Toledo Police Department, the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office, the Wood County Sheriff’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations, the FBI, the Toledo Drug Task Force, the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the Perrysburg Police Department, the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of Ohio, and the Lucas County and Wood County prosecutor’s offices.

  • Significant drugs seizures: 23 pounds of marijuana
  • Estimated street value: $107,145
  • Firearms seized: 12
  • Cash seized: $146,963
  • Number of people indicted: 15
  • Criminal counts: 37

In one operation alone, the task force confiscated more than 18 pounds of marijuana, a loaded pistol with two extended magazines, and almost $60,000.

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