EAST PALESTINE - An investigation is continuing into a May 25 police raid on a suspected drug house that resulted in the seizure of seven pounds of marijuana and $24,000 in cash.
Police released the information Thursday. Chief Kevin Dickey said the raid was the result of a year-long joint investigation with the county drug task force.
In addition to the marijuana valued at roughly $28,000, and the cash, village police and members of the county drug task force recovered other assets from the home, which include a large coin collection. Firearms also were found inside, but were not there illegally and were not taken by police.
The marijuana eventually will be destroyed and the department will seek forfeiture of the money and other assets, Dickey said.
He and Village Manager Pete Monteleone did not reveal the home's address at this time as the matter is still under investigation.
They said that at roughly $50,000, the raid amounted to one the of largest in the village and was a pivotal moment for the department.
"This is the start of many efforts. I think it's a positive step in the right direction. We are addressing the issue," Monteleone said.
Dickey said the department is aware of the drug problem and is combating it through "proactive police work" that includes assistance from other agencies who have offered to share resources and man-power.
The department's "tremendous support" from the community and village administration also helps, he added.
"We are very thankful to the task force. Without their services, this would have been very difficult, if not impossible, to do," Monteleone said.
He added that new scheduling at the department and the addition of a K-9 unit will be especially beneficial in combating the problem.
"We are really beefing up shifts to have more man-power on the street," he said.
Officer Don Johnson, who was recently promoted to sergeant, will handle the new K-9 Unit, which is expected to arrive at the department at the end of the month.
"We are excited about the K-9. I have seen it used in other communities and it works very well," Monteleone.
Another promotion is scheduled to take place at the end of the month, pending council approval.
"With the re-organization of the department and the addition of the new K-9 unit, combating the drug problem in the community is our new number one priority," Dickey said.