Pair arrested on numerous charges in Defiance

A Detroit man and Defiance woman were incarcerated following a brief pursuit Thursday evening on Defiance’s east side. A search warrant was also executed at a Napoleon motel which they were allegedly using to run their drug enterprise. According to the Defiance County Sheriff’s Office, Damien Smith, 26, Detroit, was a “wanted fugitive from justice” and was arrested on parole violations and warrants from Defiance Municipal Court.

Additionally, the Defiance Police Department charged Smith with failure to comply with the order of a police officer, speed, driving under suspension, three stop sign violations, failure to drive on the right half of the roadway, reckless operation and no turn signal. Meanwhile, Mercedes Mason-Smith, 29, 606 Village Lane, was charged with possession of cocaine, a third-degree felony. Both were held at the Corrections Center of Northwest Ohio, rural Stryker, before appearing in Defiance Municipal Court on Friday. Judge John Rohrs set bond for Mason-Smith at $100,000 cash and ordered that she reappear Monday while Smith pleaded not guilty to the charges and his cases were scheduled for a pretrial hearing on Jan. 29. Rohrs set Smith’s bond at $25,000 cash.

The investigation will be forwarded to Defiance County Prosecutor Morris Murray and Henry County Prosecutor Jay Hanna for the presentation of additional charges to the respective counties’ grand juries, according to the sheriff’s office. The Multi-Area Narcotics (MAN) Unit, with Defiance Police Department, Defiance County Sheriff’s Office and the Adult Parole Authority conducted a drug investigation that led to the arrest of the pair Thursday evening.

As part of the investigation, a traffic stop was attempted by the MAN Unit and city police on Defiance’s Upton Street at approximately 6:49 p.m. Thursday, according to authorities. The MAN Unit relayed that Smith drove to Spruce Street at a high rate of speed. He allegedly eluded officers by leaving the roadway off Spruce Street onto private property. His vehicle then crashed into a fence and landscaping in the backyard of 1756 Hopkins St. before Smith allegedly fled on foot and was apprehended by Defiance Police Patrolman Mitch McClure and his K9 Rex in a Hopkins Street yard. Mason-Smith was taken into custody at the scene of the crash. A substantial amount of cocaine was seized during the investigation.

The MAN Unit then executed a search warrant at the Napoleon Motor Inn, 179 E. Maumee Ave., Napoleon. The investigation revealed that Smith and Mason-Smith allegedly had been using the site for their drug business. Assisting in the investigation were the Napoleon Police Department, Henry County Sheriff’s Office and the Ohio State Parole Authority. The Ohio Highway Patrol’s Defiance post handled the accident report in Defiance.

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