Police officers and sheriff deputies braved brutally cold weather Thursday morning to make the year's first large-scale drug bust.
Two people were arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking after police searched a pair of Marion homes and found heroin, suspected drug money and more in "Operation Arctic Blast."
"We've spent many hours doing diligent work," Marion Police Lt. Chris Adkins said. "The fruits of the labor panned out today."
The MARMET Drug Task Force launched the operation around 7 a.m. Thursday as they searched houses in the 400 block of Mary Street and the 100 block of Kenmore Avenue.
MARMET officials found 41.6 grams of heroin, 2.2 grams of marijuana, pills for Oxycodone, Alprazolam and Ecstasy, $11,551 in cash and a Smith and Wesson handgun in the Mary Street home.
Paris McGhee, 34, of Marion, was arrested on charges of having weapons under disability, possession of drugs, possession of heroin, trafficking in heroin and aggravated trafficking in drugs.
"He's somebody that the public has helped with lots of tips," Adkins said.
Only seconds after the task force raided the Mary Street home, officials found Emmanuel Donaldson, 39, from Detroit, with 8.1 grams of heroin in his possession at the Kenmore Avenue residence. He was arrested on charges of possession of heroin and trafficking in heroin.
The drugs from both locations are believed to have a street value around $7,000.
Both McGhee and Donaldson were transported to the Multi-County Correctional Center and await formal charges by the Marion County Prosecutor's Office. Police do not believe the two homes or suspects have any relation to another.
Adkins said there are pending charges on a few other suspected related to this case.
Officials from the Marion Police Department and the Marion County Sheriff's Office combine to create the MARMET Drug Task Force, which is a division of the METRICH Enforcement Unit.