breaking news

Unbeaten Wittenberg moves to No. 5 in D3Hoops.com poll

New crime lab in Springfield clears backlog of drug cases


A new crime lab in Springfield has led to the clearing of a back log of drug cases, so many that prosecutors recently had to hold a special grand jury session just for those cases.

The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation opened a drug testing lab in May in the Public Safety Building where the Springfield Police Division and Clark County Sheriff’s Office are located in downtown.

RELATED: Clark County Jail doubles inmates in drug treatment program

Chemists have used the new equipment since it opened to test drugs. That’s helped law enforcement and prosecutors get results more quickly, Springfield Police Capt. Mike Varner said.

“The turnaround for cases has decreased, as far as getting the lab results back,” he said. “So we can move forward with prosecutions for drug cases.”

Before it could take up to a year to get evidence back, Varner said. Drugs would be sent to a statewide lab in London, about 30 minutes away.

READ MORE: Clark County sees another big spike of at least 40 overdoses in 5 days

“Drugs are sent to the lab because when we file charges against someone who is suspected of possessing or selling drugs, we need to know what actually they are in possession of or selling,” Varner said. “We are actually able to get the cases through faster and if someone needs to testify in court, they are just down the hall.”

That makes it for Clark County Prosecutor Andy Wilson to file charges sooner. His office scheduled a special grand jury on Oct. 24 just for drug cases, hearing 33 lower-level drug cases.

“There were so many cases we couldn’t handle on a normal grand jury day,” he said. “We had to schedule a special day that was set for nothing but drug cases.”

The prosecutor still has 14 more drug cases to present to a grand jury, Wilson said.

DETAILS: Petition asks Springfield leaders to charge people who overdose

Criminal charges are important, Wilson said, because often addicts needed to be forced into drug treatment programs by the court to get help. Several people on the indictment list also have overdosed recently, he said.

A record A record 97 people have died from drug overdoses so far this year in Clark County.

“They are continuing out there putting their lives in danger and we are now able to get them into the system and hopefully push them or force them into treatment with the teeth of court action hanging over their head,” Wilson said. “We are moving those cases through the system and we are going to force them into treatment with the consequences of jail, or potentially prison, if they don’t do what they need to do.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Crime

Police: 13 siblings held captive in California residence
Police: 13 siblings held captive in California residence

Update 1:20 p.m. Jan. 16: Officials said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon that the 13 siblings taken from a California home after they were held captive by their parents for an undisclosed period of time are recovering. The siblings, who range in age from 2 to 29, were in stable condition Tuesday. “They’re very friendly, they&rsquo...
Schools say value of master’s degrees goes beyond pay
Schools say value of master’s degrees goes beyond pay

A new study questions whether some master’s degrees pay off for graduates, but area college officials say the value of the degree may go beyond what it brings in pay. “I think all students are consumers of their education,” said Jason Eckert, director of career services at the University of Dayton. “So whenever we’re talking...
Clark County Common Pleas Court cases
Clark County Common Pleas Court cases

COMMON PLEAS COURT NEW SUITS 17-DP-1109 - April Conley, 5792 Ridgewood Dr., W., v. Laura Brown, 383 E. Leffel Lane, petition for domestic violence civil protection order. 17-DP-1135 - Nichole Williamson, 1015 Maiden Lane, v. Aaron Ruf, 4815 Ridgewood Road, W., petition for civil stalking protection order. 17-DP-1136 - Ashley Claar, 1704 S. Center Blvd...
Kim Kardashian, Kanye West welcome third child via surrogate
Kim Kardashian, Kanye West welcome third child via surrogate

Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West are parents of three. The TV personality and rapper welcomed a baby girl Monday via surrogate. The couple, married in 2014, are already parents to daughter North, 4, and son Saint, 2. >> Read more trending news  Kardashian West confirmed the news on her official website. The baby was born Jan. 15 at...
Live updates State of the Union 2018: What time, what channel, livestream, protests
Live updates State of the Union 2018: What time, what channel, livestream, protests

Five Democratic members of Congress have said they will not attend President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address set for the end of the month, boycotting the speech, they say, because of an alleged racial slur over immigration by the president. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), announced Monday she will not attend the speech. Four other Democrats...
More Stories