Tips lead to heroin arrest

METRICH detectives arrested a Detroit man on heroin possession charges Wednesday thanks to several tips submitted through an anonymous tip line.

Vernon Morgan, 20, was arrested late Wednesday night at a residence in the first block of Granite Street.

Morgan was charged with one fourth-degree felony count of heroin possession. Detectives found Morgan with 1.5 grams of heroin, along with $833 in cash and two cellphones — all of which were confiscated as evidence.

METRICH Project Director and Mansfield police Chief Ken Coontz said detectives were able to make the arrest after they received several phone calls reporting suspected drug activity near Lexington Avenue.

A caller saw a red vehicle involved in what appeared to be a drug transaction, so the caller wrote down the license plate number, then gave the information to police.

Coontz said detectives responded to the scene, matched the license plate with a vehicle in the area, then interviewed Morgan.

Morgan, who had a large bulge of cash in his pocket, told police the heroin was not his and he found the heroin on the floor of Circle-K.

He was arrested and taken to Richland County Jail.

“This is a great example of what we hope for,” Coontz said. “There are times when we’re able to act on that information and this is one of those occasions where it worked out.”

Coontz said METRICH receives up to 3,000 tips on criminal activity in the area each year.

Many of those tips are generic, Coontz said, often lacking important details such as when the suspected criminal activity occurs and detailed descriptions of people involved.

METRICH recently updated its website — — to encourage people to include important information when contacting the enforcement agency.

Detectives ask residents with tips to provide as much of the following information as possible: the name of the suspect, an address, a vehicle description with license plate information, a phone number used by the suspect, time of day the activity takes place and names of any associates involved.

“We have limited resources, and I can’t send an officer to monitor an area for 24 hours,” Coontz said. Originally published in the News Journal on August 1, 2014.


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