On Thursday, the METRICH Enforcement Unit closed out a short term drug trafficking investigation with the arrest of an individual from Detroit, Michigan who was staying at 155 E. First St. in Mansfield.
METRICH detectives, with assistance from the Richland County Sheriff’s Office, arrested and charged Ronell Batchelor with four (4) counts of Trafficking in Drugs-F4, two (2) counts of Possession of Drugs-F5 and one (1) count of Illegal Conveyance-F3.
During the investigation, after analysis of the seized evidence, the Mansfield Division of Police, Forensic Science Section notified METRICH detectives the suspected heroin was actually fentanyl.
METRICH Commander Lt. Joseph D. Petrycki stated preliminary 2017 data from the Ohio Department of Health indicates that seventy-one percent (71%) of all unintentional drug overdose deaths in the State of Ohio involved illicit fentanyl or a fentanyl analogue. Due to the fact the lab testing showed it was fentanyl, METRICH detectives made it a top priority to get him incarcerated as soon as possible.
The METRICH Enforcement Unit will continue to target those individuals that sell drugs, especially fentanyl in Richland County. Citizens are encouraged to continue to be proactive by reporting suspected drug activity. Citizens can call the METRICH Crime Tip Hotline at 419-52-Crime (419-522-7463) or the Task Force line at 419-755- 9728.