A drug sweep of the area Monday by local law enforcement officers ensnared more than a dozen people on a myriad of drug-related charges.
Auglaize-Mercer Grand Lake Task Force members started early Monday arresting 13 people in Wapakoneta, St. Marys, Celina and Lima.
“Things went perfectly. It was a good day,” Auglaize County Sheriff Al Solomon said after the arrests resulted in 37 charges. “With these arrests, we are trying to make the point that the Grand Lake Task Force is not going away, the police departments and Sheriff’s Office is not going away and the cooperation between these agencies and the prosecutor’s office is not going to go away.
“We are going to keep battling,” the sheriff said after Monday’s sweep.
“We might not win the war but we are going to continue to win a lot of the battles.”
Deputy Mike Vorhees said the goal is to make the opportunity to purchase drugs more difficult.
“We hope our actions keeps drugs off the streets in Auglaize County,” Vorhees said. “We don’t want drug dealing anywhere, but especially here in Auglaize County. I feel we have done that and we hear on the streets that people won’t come here because of what we do and the operations we are willing to do.”
The drug sweep included the arrests of 10 Wapakoneta residents.
Officers arrested Jaron Kanorr, 23, on one count of trafficking in marijuana, Christopher B. Miller, 21, on one count of trafficking in marijuana, Gunnar H. Allman, 20, on three counts of trafficking in marijuana and Jeff E. Lee, 29 on six counts of trafficking in marijuana during Monday’s sweep.
Cameron M. Knerr, 21, was arrested on one count of trafficking in drugs and one count of trafficking in marijuana, while Sarah A. McPheron, 22, Wapakoneta, was arrested on one count of trafficking in marijuana, and her sister, Lisa M. McPheron, 21, was arrested on one count of permitting drug abuse and two counts of trafficking in marijuana, as a result of the drug sting.
Lea R. Barnett, 39, was arrested on four counts of trafficking in marijuana, Nicholas A. Prinzi, 23, was arrested on four counts trafficking in marijuana, and Joseph W. Shappell,24, was arrested on five counts trafficking in marijuana.
A Celina man, a St. Marys man and a Lima woman rounded out the arrests.
Louis J. Hendricks, 23, of Celina, was charged with one count of trafficking in marijuana, Dillon L. Swartz, 19, of St. Marys, was charged with three counts of trafficking in marijuana, and Alyssa N. Lohr, 18, of Lima, was charged with three counts of trafficking in marijuana.
Wapakoneta Police Chief Russ Hunlock lauded the work of the task force after the majority of arrests were made in Wapakoneta.
“I think it is good,” Hunlock said. “We know that there are issues and we are putting a dent in it to take care of the problem.”
This year 64 indictments have been issued in 2011, an increase from 59 indictments issued in 2010.
Solomon credited officers with the Wapakoneta, St. Marys, Cridersville and Waynesfield police departments and deputies with the Auglaize County and Allen County sheriff’s offices with assisting in Monday’s round-up.
He said this is just one way to stop drug use in the county.
“There are two ways, among others, to fight drugs in the county and that is with our DARE program — getting to and talking with our young kids and educating them with our DARE officer as well as having a resource officer in the schools the way the chief does,” Solomon said of Hunlock. “The second way is with our task force.”