FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ohio — The Franklin County Sheriff's Office has been able to take more drugs off the streets so far this year and they say it's in part because of the way they are investigating the cases.
“We feel like we are making a dent when we target the higher-end drug traffickers,” said Sergeant Nate Smith.
Smith is undercover and on the drug task force for the sheriff's office. He explains as a task force, they have set records this year.
“Really focus in on who is bringing in the large amounts,” Smith said.
In April 2020, the force did not seize any cocaine. The next year they were able to get 87 grams and this year, they have seized 872 grams.
Fentanyl went from about point two grams in April 2020 to nearly 2,500 grams in April of this year. The amount of heroin seized went from zero to nearly three grams over the same time frame.
“So far this year it has been record-setting after record-setting. That could be for a couple of reasons. We are doing a great job, I wish it was just that. It could also very well be we have a meth problem in Columbus,” Smith said.
Smith explains they have also started doing more work with other task forces in the area to share information, and resources. Through the HOPE task force, they are also trying to get help for those who use drugs instead of looking at jail time. Authorities get more information about bigger dealers that way as well.
“You deal with family members and you see the real pain and frustration and the confusion of what they are going through having a family member addicted to drugs. Seeing that it's not just impacting the person who is using, is really a motivating factor,” Smith said.
The sheriff's office said they plan to continue working as a task to take as many drugs off the streets as possible.