State Patrol Making More Drug Arrests - NBC4: Columbus, Ohio News, Weather, and Sports (WCMH-TV)

State Patrol Making More Drug Arrests

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The Ohio State Highway Patrol will add 81 troopers Friday, and their new jobs will focus on more than just catching drivers on Ohio highways with a lead foot.

The Ohio State Highway patrol isn't just about stopping speeders.

It is becoming a very formidable force in combating illegal drugs in Ohio.

Twice this week, troopers made significant drug raids.   

On Tuesday, marijuana and a loaded gun were found from a stop Lake County.

On Monday, $26,000 worth of ecstasy and a loaded gun were found in Mercer County.

So far this year, drug raids happen nearly every day with the patrol.

So far this year, the patrol has issued 773 drug violations. That's an increase from 583 violations during the same period last year.

And last year was more than the year before.

Training is different now. Troopers are taught to look beyond whatever reason someone was stopped.

"We've had [cases] where they've had marijuana just laying out in plain view so now that leads us past the initial violation of whatever they're stopped for," said Lt. Gurjit Grewal.

In all of 2009, the patrol seized $30 million worth of drugs.

In 2011, that number more than doubled.

"We've actually seized close to $69 million worth of drugs," said Grewal.

Another reason for the increase in arrests and seizures is the increase in the use of drug-sniffing dogs.

Thursday, the patrol planted some marijuana in a state-owned vehicle to demonstrate how quickly a drug dog can get a hit. It wasn't long at all.

Within ten seconds, the dog had found the marijuana hidden in the gas cap.

"In the last two years, we've actually added 11 K-9's and we're looking to add another ten by the end of 2013, so by the end of 2013, we're looking at 39 dogs," said Grewal.

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