DRUNK DRIVER November 25, 2019
When your friend at the office Christmas party suggests, “just one more,” the best idea is to say no.
One reason, at least if you’re heading into Sylvania Township, is the rise in drunk driving arrests in the recent past.
In the month of October, township police made 26 arrests for drunk driving, compared to 19 in October the previous year. At the end of October, the police had made a total of 185 drunk driving arrests through the year, more than the total of 155 for all of 2018.
Police Chief Paul Long said he has never directed officers to specifically increase drunk driving enforcement but has made no secret of the fact that he considers it a serious offense.
The chief pointed to a late-October arrest which he said must have required a lot of guardian angels to keep people safe from the alleged drunk driver.
Responding to a call, Sylvania Township police found Anthony McCoy, 52, of Kendalville, Ind., passed out, stopped with his foot on the brake at a green light on eastbound Central Avenue at Holland-Sylvania Road, according to the police report.
When the officer shook him awake, Mr. McCoy said he was “waiting for his food,” but was unaware of where he was.
He told the officer he didn’t need a field sobriety test, saying “I’m drunk. I already know I’m drunk,”
He eventually took a breath test resulting in a blood alcohol level of 0.178, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08.
Based on a quick records check at the time of his arrest it was found that he had at least 6 prior drunk driving convictions in Ohio and Indiana and that he had a pending drunk driving charge in Indiana. He told police of one other in Alabama.
He was charged with felony drunk driving, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 months in prison. A warrant has been issued for his arrest after failing to appear in Lucas County Common Pleas Court.
Although it is unlikely that “just one more,” at the office Christmas party or anywhere else will result in such an extreme case for most people, Chief Long said the dangers of drunk driving are the same.
The possibility of arrest is always there, and the potential for an accident, injury or death is real the chief said.
SNOW November 12, 2019
A few hours before Sylvania Township got its first snow event of the season, Rob Nash, township road superintendent, began a chess match with Mother Nature.
He was relying on weather forecasts and tracking radar to help decide when it would be necessary to stop leaf collection efforts and turn to snow and ice control.
“Safety first. We ask for residents’ patience in getting to the leaves, but we need to first make sure the streets are as safe to travel as possible,” he said.
Some crews continued on leaf collection through the day, but four trucks were refitted to snow and ice control at about 2 p.m..
Crews continued on that task overnight and were back at it the next morning.
He said normal leaf-collection efforts will resume as soon as possible.
In below-freezing temperatures some of the collection equipment can freeze, Mr. Nash said. It has to be taken out of service and brought into the garage to thaw.
He cautioned that the weather also has the obvious negative effect of freezing piles of leaves. Although the job becomes somewhat easier after a freeze, crews still have to wrestle with the resulting sodden mess.
BUST November 12, 2019
Sylvania Township recently took part in what is described as a multi-agency, multi-year investigation in what has resulted in indictments against 31 people for a number of narcotics conspiracy violations.
Police Chief Paul Long said the township police have had an officer assigned to the FBI-led drug task force for years. The group’s efforts have led to many other prosecutions, but he added that it is rewarding to see now and then front-page attention paid to their efforts.
Due to the confidential nature of his work and that it is ongoing, the chief said it was decided that the officer shouldn’t speak publicly, but Chief Long added that it’s important for people to know that cases of this sort appear exciting when indictments are announced but they are the result of months and sometimes years of tedious, step-by-step procedures.
The police “know who they are looking for. They know who the bad guys are, but you have to build a case. You have to be able to prove it.
“It can take a long time,” particularly in building a case which has resulted in 31 people indicted. The activities of suspects can intersect with some defendants sometimes and others at other times.
It takes time to sort out suspects in a criminal enterprise of this size and scope.
Although most of the defendants are from Toledo, others are from Arizona and Mexico.
Chief Long acknowledged that none of those arrested are from Sylvania Township, but added that the victims of narcotics trafficking, the users, those who become addicted, those who overdose are in our community and everywhere in northwest Ohio.
Without being specific, the chief also noted that drug deals are often in large commercial parking lots and pointed out Sylvania Township has a number of them.
Although trying for specific measurements can be difficult, he said that sharing of information between other members of the Sylvania Township police, the task-force member and the township’s member of the DEA task force has enhanced township law enforcement.
He also noted that the FBI has paid for extensive training for the township officer in the ability to use cell phone towers to track suspects who are carrying a phone.
“He’s had all the training that’s available to non-federal agents,” the chief said, noting that the township recently used his skills to track a suspected burglar, arrest him, and charge him with a number of offenses committed in the township.
All of the alleged members of the drug ring are charged with conspiracy to distribute narcotics, many face additional charges such as illegal possession of firearms and interstate travel in the conspiracy. As arrests took place, police seized a total of about $400,000, quantities of heroin, cocaine and fentanyl and a number of firearms.
U.S. District Court Judge James Carr has set a pretrial conference in the case for Dec 12.
*The next Sylvania Township Board of Trustees meeting is December 3 (Regular Meeting), 5:00 p.m.,
click for agenda
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