Millersburg man gets prison for meth possession

A Millersburg man was sent to prison Tuesday after he was found with methamphetamine during a traffic stop and one officer was hospitalized for exposure to the drug.

Robert A. Searls, 26, 675 Bobwhite Lane, was sentenced to two years in prison by Judge Robert Rinfret in Holmes County Common Pleas Court after Searls pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated possession of drugs, failure to appear and obstructing official business.

The charges stem from a Jan. 31 incident when Searls was stopped while driving under suspension and pulled over at the West Holmes High School parking lot by Holmes County Sheriff’s deputies.

Searls was found along with two other individuals inside, along with 2.1 grams of of meth.

And while searching the vehicle, one officer was exposed to meth and later showed symptoms, including acting fidgety, excessive talking, and having hot flashes.

It is believed the drug went airborne and was inhaled, as the officer was wearing protective gloves.

He was hospitalized at Pomerene Hospital and released.

Law enforcement located Searls after receiving a tip he was driving without a valid license and that he was engaged in drug activity.

The front seat passenger, Samantha Foster, 30, of Wooster, denied similar charges after she was allegedly measuring out crystal meth, but dumped and smashed the drugs into the car floor upon seeing law enforcement approaching.

She has bigger problems though, as Foster has pending federal drugs charges against her following alleged drug-dealing in 2016 in Wayne, Holmes and Stark counties.

Medway Drug Enforcement Agency Director Donald Hall previously called her a “mid-level player” for drugs across the region.

The third individual who was arrested, Andrew Tennent, of Jeromesville, was charged with bringing meth into the Holmes County Jail after crystal meth was found inside his socks.

He was sentenced to five years on probation and sent to Stark Regional Community Corrections Center.

Reporter Steven F. Huszai can be reached at 330-287-1645 or

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