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WAPAKONETA — A two-day enforcement initiative in Auglaize and Mercer counties netted nine felony arrests with more than $20,000 in drugs seized.
Seven local law enforcement agencies joined the Ohio State Highway Patrol in its Operation Shield program targeting traffic safety and criminal activity in the two-county area on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Lt. Scott Carrico, commander of the Wapakoneta Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, said this morning that through their efforts, officers made 418 traffic stops resulting in 206 arrests, of which seven were for operating a motor vehicle without a valid license and one for impaired driving. Officers seized 538 illegal prescription pills worth $5,115, 168 grams of crack cocaine worth $16,000, 4 grams of marijuana and $7,020 in cash.
Auglaize County Sheriff Al Solomon this morning also released details of two drug arrests made by the Auglaize and Mercer Grand Lake Drug Task Force, which evolved from information received through Operation Shield.
“This shows a cooperation between all law enforcement in the county,” Solomon said this morning. “We are trying to make a difference. We may not win the war but we are winning a lot of battles and we need to keep pushing.”
The arrests resulted from an undercover drug buy in the Bellefontaine Street and Interstate 75 area of Wapakoneta between 12:30 a.m. and 1 a.m. Thursday. Solomon said a substantial amount of crack cocaine and a small amount of suspected powder cocaine were seized, with more than 100 grams of drugs, with a street value of approximately $5,000, seized as a result of the arrests.
Travarus D. Thompson, 26, and Shannon T. Scott, 41, both of Lima, were arrested and are being held in the Auglaize County Jail on $1 million bonds with a 10 percent cash provision. Thompson is being charged with aggravated trafficking and obstructing official business and Scott with aggravated trafficking.
A female with them was taken into custody, but later released pending further investigation.
The incident remains under investigation.
Solomon and Carrico credited their collaborative efforts for making a dent in local crimes.
Solomon said the hope is that through the traffic stops law enforcement officers may obtain other information leading them to additional arrests.
“I think we were successful in doing that with this effort,” Solomon said. “We continue to fight drugs in our county and we are going to continue to fight those bringing drugs into the county and keep coming at them in different ways.”
Agencies participating in the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s enforcement initiative included the Auglaize County Sheriff’s Office, Wapakoneta Police Department, St. Marys Police Department, Cridersville Police Department, Waynesfield Police Department, Buckland Police Department, and Celina Police Department.