The first six months of the year troopers made 8,399 drug arrests, a 12 percent increase over the same period in 2016.
Of the arrests from January through June, nearly 30 percent included one or more felony drug charges, according to the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
“Many felonies that occur in our state will at some point involve our highways,” Lt. Brian Aller, commander of the Springfield Post, said. “That means troopers have an opportunity to stop a crime by looking for criminal indicators during traffic stops.”
The highway patrol said the surge not only applies to last year. There is a 30 percent rise over the previous three-year average from 2014-2016, and compared to the first six months of 2012, drug arrests in 2017 have climbed 110 percent.
Notable counties with felony drug cases during the first half of this year include Warren with 94 (ranked fourth in the state for drug arrests); Montgomery with 66 (ranked 10th in the state); and Butler with 53 (ranked 14th in the state).
Large drug seizures included 50 pounds of marijuana and hashish with a street value of more than $1 million from a drug stop on the Ohio Turnpike, the patrol said.
In total, troopers seized more than 860,000 grams of marijuana and 26,000 grams of heroin during the first half of the year.