Forfeiture check delivered to Gallia prosecutor

By Dean Wright -

GALLIPOLIS — Executive Director of Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission Rocky Nelson delivered the latest check for Gallia’s law enforcement trust fund Thursday while discussing ways to assist Gallia law enforcement through its resources.

According to Gallia Prosecutor Jason Holdren, The Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Major Crimes Task Force of Gallia-Meigs Counties was started in September 2013. To date, the agency has seized around half a million dollars in assets, narcotics and cash that has been put back into law enforcement efforts and resources.

Holdren said Nelson and he became better acquainted Thursday as they discussed the services and resources the commission could use to help Gallia and Meigs. Holdren said the commission is typically more secretive about its work than typical law enforcement in the hopes of giving it an edge against offenders.

“You note the name is major crimes,” said Holdren. “Most people think the task force just busts drug cases, but that isn’t necessarily all they do.”

As an example, the task force recently made arrests in mid-January in a reported prostitution case in Gallipolis. The task force also assisted in recent investigations into the death of a man which has lead to tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse charges brought against three suspects.

As part of the major crimes task force, the Gallia Prosecutor’s Office says it wants to make good on a campaign promise by putting some of the money gathered in the law enforcement trust fund and put it towards education efforts for youth in the region. Holdren said he would like to invite a nationally known figure to the area to discuss with youth the dangers of drugs and their consequences.

The law enforcement trust fund is made up of funds collected from the forfeitures of drug cases and the like. Funds have previously been used to buy police cruisers as well as training and other equipment. Holdren did not disclose the amounts of recent forfeitures acquired by the law enforcement trust fund.

“The task force is pretty important for this area,” said Holdren as a member of the task force. “It allows us to band together as area law enforcement to investigate problems we might not be able to do by ourselves. My office has helped in drafting search warrants for some of the task’s force’s activities.”

The Gallia-Meigs Major Crimes Task force is a state task force under the jurisdiction of the Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission which is part of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. The agency is compromised of Gallia and Meig’s Sheriff’s Offices, Gallipolis and Middleport Police Departments and the Gallia and Meigs Prosecutor Offices.

Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.

By Dean Wright