Clark County sheriff’s ‘ghost’ unit targets drugs

1:00 p.m Monday, Sept. 25, 2017 Crime

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office has a new cruiser paid for by drug forfeiture money that’s designed to fight back against those dealers.

The new cruiser is black and gray — a color scheme called “ghosted” — and has the words “Paid for by Your Local Drug Dealers” on it.

Clark County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Brian Beller has been driving the unit since the beginning of August.

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Drug forfeiture money has been seized from accused drug dealers, Beller said.

“The assets that were proven to be gained through ill-gotten gains seized and that was money in this case,” Beller said.

More than $100,000 was seized in one case and once it made its way through the courts, the money was released back to the sheriff’s office, which was allowed to use it for certain items.

One Clark County resident said there should be more of these type of units.

“Just because of the drug problem we have in Ohio and also in Springfield, I think there should be more crackdown on it,” said Jeff Bolin, a Clark County resident.

The ghosted unit is used for traffic enforcement and drug interdiction.

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“What I do the most of is traffic enforcement, driving under suspensions and anything that is unsafe,” Beller said. “My secondary function, I would say is more of my primary function, which is drug interdiction.”

During all of those traffic stops, he’s on the lookout for drugs, possible drug traffickers and people driving under the influence of drugs.

“That’s my primary function I would say is anything drug-related so the OVIs, the possession, up to the trafficking and any firearms and warrants … anything that goes along with that sort of lifestyle,” Beller said.

Since April, the deputy has made about 60 to 70 felony drug arrests that range from possession to trafficking.