Drug Battle

THE BELMONT County Drug Task Force is on a roll.

In a 24-hour period this weekend, the task force made two nice-sized busts. The second came with the assistance of the U.S. Postal Service.

Friday’s drug raid came at a private residence in Martins Ferry.

Confiscated at the suspect’s home were prescription pills, drug paraphernalia and more than $1,000 in the suspect’s pockets. Martins Ferry Police Chief and Drug Task Force Commander John McFarland said a stolen flat-screen television was also discovered.

The raid came after a several-month probe by the drug task force.

Saturday’s bust was much bigger and complex in scope. The drug task force arrested another Ferrian. He was found to be in possession of 6.54 pounds of marijuana at the time of his arrest.

Teamwork and cooperation played big into the latter bust.

The Drug Task Force was first notified by the U.S. Postal Inspector out of Cleveland that a suspicious package arrived at the Martins Ferry Post Office. The names of the receiver and sender did not match the names on the addresses the packages were addressed to.

A K-9 unit investigated a room full of boxes at the post office and red flagged the package in question. That triggered a sting operation all day Friday but no one showed up. Saturday morning, the suspect signed for the package only to be arrested a short time later by two officers who waited 10 hours.

McFarland praised those two officers for their passionate vigilance, as do we.

This weekend’s two drug arrests reinforces the effectiveness of the Belmont County Drug Task Force. It is making major inroads into the local drug scene.

The U.S. Postal Service also draws our praise for being both alert and willing to get involved. The Belmont County Drug Task Force is a unit that has exhibited a tremendous ability to infiltrate criminal activity.

We hope it continues to receive cooperation from all those committed to ridding Eastern Ohio of illegal drugs, as shown by the Postal Service.