By Margie Wuebker
Ninteen people face a combined total of 82 drug-related charges in the wake of an undercover investigation by the Auglaize/Mercer County Grand Lake Drug Task Force.
Among those arrested in the sweep that began at 5:30 a.m. Friday were the following area residents:
¥ Larissa Jenkins, 26, St. Marys
¥ Timothy J. Hagen, 21, Celina
¥ Robert Lowe III, 32, Celina ¥ Damian King, 27, Celina
¥ Karen J. Fox, 39, New Bremen
¥ Thomas Ray Charles Henline, 27, St. Marys
¥ Daniel Street, 19, St. Marys.
The remainder of those arrested come from Wapakoneta, Lima and Cridersville.
The charges deal with trafficking in drugs and the sale of drugs including marijuana, cocaine, heroin and LSD, according to Auglaize County Sheriff Al Solomon.
Solomon told The Daily Standard the majority of the charges dealt with trafficking in drugs and the sale of dangerous drugs. He did not have a list of charges each suspect faces or addresses of those arrested.
"We will never be able to totally eliminate drugs in Auglaize County," he said. "But we can put a dent in their activities and slow down drug traffic. I believe we accomplished this."
With the latest arrests and a January roundup that netted 15 arrests, the task force has arrested 34 people on various drug charges.
Solomon warns additional sweeps will be held in the future to continue sending a clear message to drug dealers. He hopes the message that drugs are not wanted in the area will come through loud and clear.
"This was once again a joint effort by all law enforcement to combat drug problems in Auglaize and Mercer counties," he said. "The task force is designed to do exactly what we are doing."
The sheriff expects additional arrests in th wake of the investigation.
In addition to sheriff's deputies from Auglaize, Mercer and Allen counties, others assisting include the Wapakoneta Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol and police departments from St. Marys, Wapakoneta, Cridersville, New Bremen, Buckland, Minster, Celina, Coldwater and Spencerville.