Local law enforcement sweeps area with arrests

By Dean Wright - deanwright@civitasmedia.com

GALLIPOLIS — Local law enforcement groups teamed with the Ohio state Highway Patrol and federal marshals to make arrest sweeps through Gallia County over the weekend.

Starting 10 a.m. Friday and continuing through 2 a.m. Sunday, officers saturated major and local roads with an emphasis on identifying and addressing criminal activity and took the opportunity to search for individuals with past warrants. Agencies active in the sweep included the Ohio State Highway Patrol, Gallia County Sheriff’s Office, Gallipolis City Police, U.S. Marshals Service, Gallia County Court of Common Pleas Probation Department, the Gallipolis Municipal Court Probation Department, Rio Grande Police Department, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the Gallia-Meigs Major Crimes Task Force and the Gallia County Prosecutor’s Office.

Officers made 142 traffic stops and made 15 felony arrests. They sought to serve 10 felony warrants, had three misdemeanor arrests and served one misdemeanor warrant, as well as making two OVI arrests.

Three separate drug trafficking stops were made in which suspects were either passing through or en route to the area to convey felony drugs. One stop resulted in the finding of a large amount of heroin. Search warrants were conducted resulting in the finding of bulk amounts of illegal prescription pills, marijuana, an indoor marijuana growing operation and 22 weapons.

Gallia County Prosecutor’s Office was on hand and in the field to answer questions for law enforcement officials.

Officers said events like this can be held several times a year and they prefer not to advertise amounts or times in order to keep potential criminals on their toes. Officers are confident intelligence gathered from the mass operation will lead to further arrests in the future as agencies continue to communicate to fit each other’s needs.

Department heads told the Tribune operations like this foster goodwill between agencies and serve to further aid the Gallia County area in protecting it from offenders and would-be perpetrators.

One officer told the Tribune, “None of this wuould be possible without the willingness of the agencies to work together for betterment of the community. It’s reflective of the leadership in our area as everyone is on the same team with the ultimate goal being to service the members of our community.”

Dean Wright can be reached at (740)446-2342, Ext. 2103.

By Dean Wright