WILLARD Authorities arrested a Willard man and seized cocaine and drug paraphernalia last week following a six-month investigation involving a multi-county drug task force.
Huron County Sheriff's Capt. Bob McLaughlin said he and 20 other officers conducted simultaneous search warrants at 214 E. Tiffin St. and 17 N. Church St. between 5 and 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. The agencies involved included the Erie County Sheriff's Office, the Willard and Sandusky police departments and two canine units.
During the East Tiffin Street search, authorities seized just under 10 grams of cocaine, $1,000 in cash and scales, McLaughlin said.
The Tiffin Street homeowner, Lorrenzo Nunez Jr., 28, was charged with trafficking in cocaine, a fourth-degree felony, after he arrived home in a sports utility vehicle driven by "a known trafficker," McLaughlin said. Nunez must post a $15,000 bond before being released from the Huron County Jail, a spokeswoman said.
Officers arrested the driver, Isais Sauceda, 51, of 8001 Ohio 61, Plymouth, on a warrant for a child support-related driving suspension out of the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, Capt. James Bracken said.
Sauceda was released from jail Wednesday after posting a $5,000 bond, the jail spokeswoman said.
Nunez was sentenced Jan. 31, 2001, to two years of probation, was fined $750 and had his driver's license suspended for six months for three counts of trafficking in cocaine, all fifth-degree felonies, through Huron County Common Pleas Court. He also was ordered to pay a total of $300 in restitution to Willard police and the sheriff's office, court records show.
On Wednesday, officers used another search warrant and had the SUV towed, McLaughlin said, explaining that investigators will be searching the truck for drugs, money and weapons.
Willard Police Sgt. Rick Sexton coordinated the North Church Street incident. Although officers made no arrests there, McLaughlin said, they seized a 22-caliber Remmington long rifle, a compound crossbow, ammunition, a cell phone and scales.
McLaughlin credited Sexton with finding the cocaine during the East Tiffin Street search.
Willard has been part of METRICH since March 1999. "That's important the departments are working together," Chief Joe Daniel said.
If residents have drug-related tips, they are encouraged to call the Willard Police Department tip line at (419) 933-6110 or the Huron County Sheriff's Office at (419) 663-2828.