Leiayre Freeman
Leiayre Freeman

VAN WERT –  On Oct. 31, 2019, the West Central Ohio Crime Task Force, with the assistance of the Allen County Sheriff’s Office S.W.A.T. Team, served a drug-related search warrant at 326 S. Franklin St. in Van Wert. As a result, two individuals were arrested. Van Wert County Sheriff Thomas M. Riggenbach stated the search warrant was the result of an investigation into alleged drug activity at the residence.

Leiayre Freeman, age 26, of Van Wert, Ohio, was arrested on one count of possession of cocaine, a felony of the 2nd degree. Amber Owens, age 34, also of Van Wert, Ohio, as also arrested on one count of possession of cocaine, a felony of the 2nd degree

Items taken for evidentiary purposes during the search of the residence:

1. A moderate amount of suspected Cocaine

2. Suspected Marijuana

3. Drug Paraphernalia

4. Cell phones

5. Suspected drug proceeds

Sheriff Riggenbach said there were two adults present when the search warrant was executed.

Sheriff Riggenbach stated both Freeman and Owens were transported to the Van Wert County Correctional Facility where they were being held pending arraignment in the Van Wert Municipal Court. Sheriff Riggenbach noted that the investigation of drug activity is continuing and additional charges may be filed.

Sheriff Riggenbach advised that a nuisance abatement letter will be sent to the property owner to make him/her aware of what occurred on this property. The purpose of the nuisance abatement letter is to make the property owner aware of alleged illegal activity occurring within the owner’s property. The nuisance abatement letter directs property owners to take action in the hopes of abating any future illegal activity. Sheriff Riggenbach said the law does allow for the seizure of property if the property owner knowingly permits illegal activity to continue within their property.

Sheriff Riggenbach asks anyone that has information on drug activity contact the Van Wert County Sheriff’s Office. Citizens with information can call 419-238-3866 or use the Van Wert County Sheriff’s Office website at www.vanwertcountysheriff.com and click on the “Submit a Crime Tip” link. Anyone reporting information can remain anonymous.

People can also report information on other crimes by using the above options or by contacting Van Wert County Crime Stoppers at 419-238-STOP. People can also remain anonymous when contacting Crime Stoppers.

The West Central Ohio Crime Task Force is comprised of Officers from the Van Wert County Sheriff’s Office, Allen County Sheriff’s Office, Lima Police Department, and multiple State and Federal Agencies. The West Central Ohio Crime Task Force operates within a multi-county area to combat drugs and major crimes.