On August 17 & 18, 2022 the METRICH Bridge Operation successful removed weapons, drugs and a vehicle. There were 30 citations issued, 13 misdemeanor drug-related arrests, four search warrants executed and 15 cell phones examined. Officials found 1,044 grams of cocaine, 44 grams of marijuana, 42 grams of fentanyl, 6 grams of crack cocaine and 40 doses of Gabapentin. In total, 53.4 pounds of pills were confiscated. The operation included 12 felony arrests, seven of them drug-related, after 153 traffic stops. There were three outreach referrals and two individuals were put into treatment, officials stated.
The goal of this initiative was to saturate areas within Richland County with Law Enforcement to interdict criminal activity and enhance safety. Focusing on high volume traffic stops in areas of reported drug activity while having resources readily available to assist if someone is encountered who is suffering from substance use disorder was the intended outcome.
METRICH Lt. Steve Blust said the operation was a success and thanked the area law enforcement agencies that participated and all the other collaborating agencies that assisted.
Blust stated the collaboration between the Richland County law enforcement agencies and the METRICH Enforcement Unit continues to have a positive impact on removing illegal drugs coming into the Mansfield, Richland County communities, while getting the proper help to those in need.
The METRICH operation received assistance from the Mansfield Police Department, Richland County Sheriff Department, Ontario Police Department, Bellville Police Department, Shelby Police Department, Butler Police Department & the Ohio State Highway Patrol partnered with the Richland County Prosecutor’s office, Richland County Courts system, Ohio Department of Public Safety, Catalyst Life Services, Richland County Public Health, Avita Ontario Hospital, Ohio Health Hospital, Richland County Mental Health & Recovery, Recovery Ohio, Ohio Narcotic Intelligence Center (ONIC) and Community Action for Capable Youth (CACY). Project Director was Mansfield Chief of Police Keith Porch.