Belmont County Sheriff Dave Lucas says he wants to clear up some major misinformation that has been spreading recently.
According to Sheriff Lucas, the Belmont County Drug Task Force Commander has not been terminated. He went on to say that drug investigations have not come to a halt, and that he has had to do some belt-tightening and some re-organizing.
Sheriff Lucas says that Chief John McFarland is now the Co-Commander of the Major Crimes Unit. The drug division is a part of this unit.
Chief McFarland now shares this command with Chief Detective Ryan Allar.
Sheriff Lucas says they have not used the name "Drug Task Force" for quite a while, and says that, despite their funds running low, drug investigations are still going strong.
"But that doesn't stop. I have several criminal interdiction officers out there, K-9 officers and deputies, that works it every day. You know, I have a full-time detective. The Belmont County Sheriff's Office has not stopped investigation. We're doing it every day," said Sheriff Lucas.
When funds from the county commission ran out, in the Sheriff's words, "Things were halted, we had to tighten our belts, but now we're back in operation."
He said people bashed the commissioners, but he said that's just a case of biting the hand that feeds you.
Sheriff Lucas said that the commission is the only group that has ever donated to their drug investigation. In his words, "they're sole supporters of the Major Crimes Unit, and I'm grateful."