Ross County officials step up enforcement during weekend-long sweep

CHILLICOTHE, Ohio (WCMH)–A community reeling from drug-related crimes is seeing stepped up law enforcement.

Ross County’s missing and dead women have common threads: drugs and illegal activity. To combat both of those, the Chillicothe police, Ross County Sheriff’s Office and the Highway Patrol are partnering to take a bite out of crime.

This law enforcement sweep has specific goals.

“Just do some interdiction on the streets to help alleviate some of that problem, help get some offenders, whether that is drug dealers, drug traffickers or drug users and get them in jail,” said Chillicothe Detective Bud Lytle.

Ross Co drug sweep 02Authorities said this sweep for illegal activity will includes traffic stops, warrants for wanted suspects, drug and theft cases all through this weekend.

One of the tools police officers said they have in combating the rising drug problem can start with a minor traffic violation.

While Chillicothe police officer Chris McGowan was patrolling in a marker cruiser with his windows cracked, he spotted a suspicious vehicle.

“Hey, when I drove by there on Washington, the car reeked of weed,” he said. He was one of a half-dozen Chillicothe officers patrolling the city.

He called in undercover units who made a traffic stop for no valid driver’s license then the violations escalated.

“I know you were in the passenger’s seat, it was up underneath the passenger’s seat then you guys switched,” McGowan said to the vehicle’s occupants. “Alright, is it your weed or her weed?”

“It is mine!” the passenger told him.

“Is that the truth?”

“It’s mine!” the passenger told McGowan.

We are not identifying the two people stopped in the vehicle.

The passenger was charged for the marijuana recovered. The female driver was charged for a driver’s license violation.

Ross Co drug sweep 03Officer McGowan kept busy. Just an hour before the bust on Bridge Street, he also stopped another driver who wasn’t supposed to be behind the wheel.

“Got you ID and registration and insurance card on you?” he asked the driver.

“I don’t…I really don’t have a driver’s license,” the driver told him.

She was cited for driving without a valid license. Her husband was nearby and was able to drive the car, otherwise McGowan said it would have to be towed. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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