A city of Norwalk water department employee has been placed on unpaid administrative leave after being arrested Tuesday by Huron County sheriff's deputies as part of a drug-interdiction operation.
The employee, Wesley Mills, 30, of Roseville, works as an operator for the water department, according to Mark Schloemer, safety-service director.
"About a month," Schloemer said when asked how long Mills had worked for the city, putting Mills still in the midst of his 180-day probationary period.
Schloemer added he had seen the police report, but wouldn't comment on it.
According to the city's personnel policy manual, Schloemer can't comment on possible disciplinary action.
Mills was stopped at 3:25 p.m. Tuesday by Detective Sgt. Josh Querin and Special Deputy Eric Bardar on U.S. 250 in Norwalk Township for a license-plate violation.
"We noticed some nervous behavior from Mr. Mills," Querin said Tuesday. "He gave us consent to search the vehicle and we located a number of syringes, a spoon and two suspected methamphetamine pipes."
Querin said Mills was already on probation from the Zanesville adult parole authority.
"He was booked for possession of drug-abuse instruments and we expect later charges to be filed on the methamphetamine pipes after lab analysis," he added.
Querin provided additional details Friday.
"Mills has had a holder placed on him from his parole officer from Zanesville," Querin said.
A search of online records indicates Mills was on parole for counterfeiting money in the Zanesville area, something he reportedly also told local deputies.
Querin said the sheriff's office expects to have the lab results on the suspected meth pipes within two weeks.
"We expect the pipes will test positive for methamphetamines," Querin said. "Mills made some admissions he smoked meth out of the pipes."
Querin said it appears methamphetamine use is on the rise.
"It's increased in the last few years -- us seeing it," he said. "It's an extremely dangerous drug."
Querin said if anyone has any suspicions about possible meth use or labs in the area to call local law enforcement immediately.