Patrol: Drug arrests up 18 percent over 2012

The Ohio State Highway Patrol said drug arrests by state troopers are 18 percent higher for the first six months of 2013 compared to the same time period last year.

Troopers statewide have made 4,728 drug arrests through June 30. That total was 42 percent higher than the previous three-year average, according to a news release. Of those arrests, 26 percent included one or more felony drug charges.

Locally, Trumbull County has the highest number of drug arrests for 2013, with 25. Mahoning County has recorded 19 drug arrests, while Columbiana County has 15.

Statewide, Franklin County, which includes Columbus, had the highest number of drug arrests with 99. Ten counties have had no drug arrests so far this year.

According to the release, marijuana, cocaine, crack and heroin arrests all have increased substantially. It said the heroin increase is especially notable, with the total number of cases increasing 100 percent compared to the three-year average and the total amount of heroin seized increasing 26 percent over the past three years.

In the first six months of 2013 statewide, the patrol has seized 141,702 grams, or more than 312 pounds, of marijuana; 30,839 grams, or nearly 68 pounds, of cocaine; 1,452 grams, or more than 3 pounds,  of crack; and 17,810 grams, or nearly 40 pounds, of heroin.

During the first six months, troopers also have seized more prescription pills with stimulants up 101 percent; depressants up 87 percent; and hallucinogens up 77 percent when compared to the previous three-year average.

For the first six months of 2013, the patrol has initiated 2,685 felony cases, with 46 percent related to felony drug charges. The patrol said most felony arrests are the result of troopers taking extra time during each traffic stop and paying attention to possible indicators of criminal activity.

“Every day our troopers are out on the road removing felons and drugs out of our communities,” said Lt. Brian Holt, Commander of the Warren Post. “Taking the time to look for criminal indicators can go a long way towards a safer Ohio.”

Drivers are encouraged to call #677 to report impaired driving or drug activity.

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