Ohio Law Enforcement Intensifies Focus on Drug Trafficking

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In 2013, Ohio troopers have increased their focus on intercepting drug shipments, and their increased focus has led to a substantial increase in the amount of drug related arrests. Drug arrests have increased 19 percent across Ohio in the first six months of this year as compared to 2012. Franklin County currently leads the state in felony drug trafficking arrests. The majority of arrests involve marijuana, cocaine and heroin.

Drug traffickers have become aware of the increased focus on drug crimes in Ohio. Therefore, they have changed their tactics in order to increase the odds of successful deliveries. Drug dealers are breaking big loads down into smaller loads involving multiple shipments. This is what has contributed to the increased number of arrests.

Even though many dealers are cutting back on the size of shipments they make, Ohio troopers are still seizing a few large shipments from time to time. This year, Ohio troopers made a single bust involving 17,000 illicit prescription drug pills, and followed it up in July with a record seizure of 30 pounds of Heroin. Heroin has become the most commonly used opiate, seeing it’s arrest double this year.

The emphasis on drug crimes and taking time to interact with motorists for hints of possible drug possession have made Ohio a risky state for drug traffickers to operate in. Partnerships with other state police forces and federal drug agents with other agencies, such as Columbus police and the Franklin County sheriff’s office, are paying off. A team effort on June 6 through June 8 led to 87 drug arrests and 72 felony cases.

In Ohio, all controlled substances are categorized in Schedules. The Schedules are based on how addictive each drug is, and whether or not the drug has any medical purposes. The schedules range from one to five, with Schedule one being the most serious and addictive drugs and Schedule five being the least serious and addictive. The potential punishments for individuals who took part in drug trafficking usually depend on the Schedule the drug falls under, the amount of drugs, as well as where the drugs were trafficked. Depending on these circumstances, an individual’s prison sentence can range from six months, to up to 10 years, with potential fines of up to $20,000.

It is important for any individual facing drug charges to consult with an experienced Franklin County Drug lawyer who can advise them on the best course of action. If an individual is making informed legal decisions, it will increase the likelihood that he or she will be able to avoid being behind bars for a significant amount of time. A criminal defense attorney can thoroughly analyze the facts surrounding a case, find inaccuracies and errors made my law enforcement, and use them build a strong defense. The prosecution often relies heavily on circumstantial evidence to build their cases. A skilled Columbus defense attorney can use that evidence to create reasonable doubt that could lead to a reduced sentence, or an all-out dismissal of the case.

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