K9 Atilla is a crime-fighting weapon for Nelsonville police, but no room at the jail renders arrests toothless

Local News

K9 Atilla with his partner Chris Jones.

NELSONVILLE, Ohio (WCMH) — K9 Atilla and his partner Officer Chris Jones have proved to be a powerful team when they tackle drug-related crime.

But due to a lack of beds at the Southeast Ohio Regional Jail, the suspects they arrest have to be set free.

On Tuesday, the duo made five arrests while working a Narcotics Interdiction detail in the City of Nelsonville, but none of those people went to jail.

It started at 6:09 in the morning when Officer Jones stopped suspects Greg Spears, Jana Bruce, and another passenger on Fort Street. When Atilla open-air sniffed the vehicle, he showed Officer Jones that he believed there were drugs inside.

A search turned up 16 narcotic pills and other drug paraphernalia.

“The Southeast Ohio Regional Jail (SEORJ) was contacted, and they refused to accept both Spears and Bruce due to them only having four open bed spaces that they said were being saved for more Violent Offenders,” Nelsonville police department said in a social media post. Both Spears and Bruce were released after a citation.

Several hours later, Officer Jones stopped a car on East Canal Street, and Atilla sniffed again, and showed the presence of drugs.

“A search of the vehicle revealed Marijuana, Drug Paraphernalia and Xanax Pills.” said Nelsonville PD on social media. The SEORJ was contacted and again refused to accept the suspect, Timothy Hoffman, for the Felony Drug Offense, so he was released.

About an hour later, Officer Jones stopped a vehicle on Clinton Avenue. The driver of the vehicle was identified as Tesla Furr of Nelsonville.

Furr was detained while Attila performed an open-air sniff of the vehicle. Attila indicated the presence of illegal narcotics, and a search turned up suspected methamphetamine and heroin.

Again, SEORJ refused to take in Furr on the felony drug charges, the driving under suspension and the active warrant for her arrest.

Officer Jones and his K9 partner Atilla stopped another vehicle, on East Franklin Street, and Atilla performed his open-air sniff. A search of the car turned up hypodermic needles, some fully loaded with suspected methamphetamine.

Suspect Kayla Albaugh of Nelsonville had an active Felony Warrant for Drug Offenses.

“Once again, the SEORJ was contacted and refused to accept Albaugh even though she already had a Felony Warrant for Drugs, on top of the new Felony Drug Charges.” Nelsonville police said. “Albaugh was then advised on her own will to appear in court for the Felony Warrant for her Arrest.”

The seized illegal narcotics will be submitted to the BCI Laboratory for analysis. Once the lab results are completed, a completed copy of the case file will be submitted to the Athens Co. Prosecutor’s Office, the post concluded.

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