Weed, drugs collected from air, ground

LISBON – It was a busy two days for the Columbiana County Drug Task Force.

On Tuesday, the DTF participated in the annual aerial search for outside marijuana-growing operations, which resulted in the confiscation of 235 plants found growing in three townships.

Then on Wednesday, the DTF worked with other law enforcement agencies to raid a suspected drug house in Wellsville, resulting in the arrest of the two occupants.

Charged with drug possession were John Dunlap, 29, and Stefan White, 30, both of 402 Ninth St., Wellsville. Dunlap was also charged with having a firearm despite a prior felony conviction after a semi-automatic handgun was found in his possession.

The search of the Ninth Street residence was the culmination of a four-month investigation and resulted in the seizure of 65 grams of cocaine (an ounce of cocaine is the equivalent of 28 grams), 214 Oxycondone tablets and more than $2,500 in cash in addition to the handgun. The street value of the drugs was pegged at more than $12,000.

DTF Director Brian McLaughlin said the investigation is continuing and could result in additional charges against Dunlap and White.

Participating in the search were the sheriff’s office, the county special response team, Wellsville police, and agents from the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation and the Youngstown office of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

The sheriff’s office, BCII and DEA also participated in Tuesday’s ground search for marijuana plants, which were found growing in Center, Franklin and Wayne townships off state Route 518 and Hull, Glasgow and Wayne Bridge roads. Charges are expected to result from these seizures.