A METRICH enforcement unit detective arrested a man on drug charges Friday afternoon after observing him making several suspected drug transactions.

Mark Starr, 32, was charged with trafficking in drugs (heroin), possession of drugs (heroin) and possession of drug-abuse instruments, according to Mansfield police reports.

Detective Brian Evans of the Ashland Police Department had the suspect under surveillance as part of an ongoing drug investigation, in the parking lot outside Kroger at 1000 Park Avenue West in Mansfield, where Starr was observed making a suspected drug transaction. Starr was then seen making several more such suspected transactions outside Walgreens, police said.

The detective approached Starr’s vehicle while the suspect was counting money. Suspected heroin was seen in the man’s lap. At that point the suspect was arrested, and a canister containing several baggies of suspected heroin, a digital scale and $1,160 were then found in the vehicle, according to reports.

Two women, ages 25 and 30, were passengers in the vehicle, which was a rental from Enterprise, and a 1-year-old child was seated in the back seat. The child was put in the care of Richland County Children’s Services.

Originally published in the News Journal an March 29, 2014.