Tip leads to arrests after EL drug raid

EAST LIVERPOOL – A tip to police about possible drug activity in one Anderson Boulevard home led to a search at another nearby home Thursday morning that netted drugs, suspects and cash.

The county’s drug task force (DTF), Special Response Team (SRT), sheriff’s office, federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA),Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation (BCII) and city police, including its K-9 unit, converged on a home where an undercover officer had reportedly made a drug buy, according to city police Chief John Lane.

However, he said no one was at the house when officers arrived, but they were directed to a house two doors down as being the place “where the activity was taking place.”

Inside, Lane said officers found six people, including three men from Cleveland, a woman from West Virginia, a man who said his address is Michigan Avenue in the city and the man who actually owns the home.

Allen C. Jackson, Cleveland, was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, and Tremaine Jackson, also of Cleveland, was charged with falsification for reportedly giving police two false names when questioned. He also had a felony warrant against him from Cuyahoga County for receiving stolen property, carrying a concealed weapon and having weapons while under a disability.

The others found inside were not arrested, and the owner of the home is not being identified at this time due to the pending investigation, according to Lane.

Officers, including ELPD canine officer Ivo, searched the residence, turning up drugs, drug paraphernalia and more than $4,000 in cash which was seized, according to a release from DTF Director Brian McLaughlin.

McLaughlin said the search stemmed from a four-month-long investigation, who said, “Recently, cases worked by the task force have led us to East Liverpool, (which) does not currently participate in the task force. I know that there is much more to be worked in this area, however, the lack of an assigned agent from the city makes that difficult.”

The city does have an officer placed with the DEA, which McLaughlin acknowledged, saying, “Though the task force does work hand in hand with the DEA, (it) is busy working (its) case load. Our case load is that which affects the citizens of the county more closely. We will continue to fight the drugs and follow the cases where they lead. This would be easier with more participation from more agencies in the county.”

Lane conceded that his department needs an officer on the DTF, saying, “I’d like to have someone out at the drug task force, but I don’t have the money to do so. A lot of effort goes into doing these (investigations).”

During the search, one of the DTF officers approached Lane and commended city Detective Don Fickes for his work on the case.

Also, while agents searched the home officers spotted a vehicle parked about a block away and ascertained the rental vehicle had some connection to the people inside the targeted house. The illegally parked vehicle was towed from the scene.

About two hours after the search was concluded, Fickes said a caller reported, “It looked like a crack head was going to the drug house,” referring to the Anderson Boulevard house.

He stopped the vehicle that was described by the caller and arrested Larry W. Harris Jr., 39, state Route 172, Lisbon, for driving under suspension and possession of drug paraphernalia after he was reportedly found with a needle, spoon and crack pipe.

Harris also had an outstanding warrant for failure to appear.

Fickes said police had received “good cooperation from neighbors,” leading to Thursday’s investigation and arrests.