Timing was everything for local law enforcement officers over the weekend.
What started as an investigation into a breaking and entering at Diverse Technology Solutions led to the discovery of a suspected methamphetamine laboratory and three arrests.
Detective Charles Boyer, coordinator of Seneca County Drug Task Force METRICH Enforcement Unit, said Tiffin Police Department's detectives had a couple of leads about suspects for the breaking and entering.
Seneca County officials sort through items and suspected meth at a Tiffin residence Saturday.
METRICH had been receiving complaints about suspected drug activity at 107 Clinton Ave., one of the residences that was under surveillance.
While watching the Clinton Avenue home and a residence at 44 1/2 Market St., officials observed a suspect leave the Market Street residence, followed the truck and initiated a traffic stop at Scott and West Perry streets Friday night.
Jeffrey L. Barker, 46, of Tiffin, was driving the truck, and Darryl G. Bright II, 27, who lives in the Market Street residence, was the passenger. Bright took off running from the truck and was apprehended at Franklin and Perry streets, Boyer said.
PHOTO BY JILL GOSCHE
Detective Robert Bour of Tiffin Police Department carries evidence from 107 Clinton Ave. Saturday.
Officials discovered a large amount of stolen property related to the breaking and entering investigation after they obtained search warrants for the Clinton Avenue and Market Street residences, according to a METRICH release.
Upon executing the search warrant at 107 Clinton Ave., agents discovered chemicals consistent with the manufacturing of meth. They obtained a second search warrant for the confiscation of the drug-related evidence and removal of the hazardous material related to the manufacturing of meth that they saw in the residence, according to the release.
Officers returned to 107 Clinton Ave. Saturday to remove the suspected meth materials from the home.
Donald L. Harshman, 53, who lives in the Clinton Avenue residence, was charged with retaining stolen property, Bright was charged with obstructing official business and retaining stolen property, and Barker was charged with breaking and entering, according to the release.
All three were at Seneca County Jail Saturday evening, Boyer said.
Additional charges of illegal manufacturing of meth, permitting drug abuse, possession of meth, possession of drug abuse instruments and possession of criminal tools are pending upon further investigation and laboratory testing on substances removed from the residence, according to the release.
Other residents of the homes were not charged.
The search warrants, which were signed by Judge Jay Meyer of Seneca County Probate and Juvenile Court, unveiled stolen property, drug paraphernalia, hypodermic needles that are related to heroin abuse, marijuana and criminal tools at 44 1/2 W. Market St., and suspected meth, a large amount of stolen property, money, drug paraphernalia, criminal tools and chemicals used in the manufacturing of meth at 107 Clinton Ave., according to the METRICH release.
Personnel from Seneca County Sheriff's Office, Bloomville, Republic and Tiffin police departments, and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's clandestine hazardous material clean-up unit also worked on the case.
The investigation that led to the discovery of the suspected meth laboratory started when Tiffin Police Department received a report of the breaking and entering at Diverse Technology Solutions, 95 E. Perry St., at 9:38 a.m. Friday.
Tony Consolo, co-owner of Diverse Technology Solutions, said the other owner discovered files and folders were out of place and on the floor and the crash register was open. The employees took an inventory of the building and found laptops, monitors, computer accessories, specialty networking hardware and about $150 in cash was missing.
The replacement value for what was taken is about $8,000, he said.
Diverse Technology Solutions specializes in services, such as network server and client management, for businesses and has been in business for about five years.
Consolo said the business remotely accesses customers' networks through secured connections, and information such as Social Security numbers and medical records were not on the equipment that was stolen.
He said Detective Robert Bour kept the business owners apprised of the investigation, and he expressed appreciation for Tiffin Police Department for its quick response and thoroughness while working on the case.
"I'm glad (the investigation) led to an arrest," he said.
Consolo, who didn't expect to see the equipment again, said he would rather lose $8,000 in inventory than have a meth lab in town.
Lt. Michelle Craig of Tiffin Police Department said law enforcement had officers in the right place at the right time. God orchestrated everybody working together at the right time, she said.
"He will bless the work of our hands," she said.