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Charges pending after drugs, weapons found

A member of the county Drug Task Force and East Liverpool Service-Safety Director Brian Allen confer outside an Ohio Avenue home where a search warrant turned up drugs and weapons. (Photo by Jo Ann Bobby-Gilbert)

EAST LIVERPOOL – The occupant of an Ohio Avenue home could be facing drug-related charges after the county Drug Task Force reported finding marijuana inside the residence while executing a search warrant Thursday.

More than three pounds of marijuana, digital scales and THC extraction lab ware were found inside the house at 2204 Ohio Ave. occupied by Benjamin L. Keener, 19, according to DTF Director Brian McLaughlin.

McLaughlin said extracting THC from marijuana is called “dabbing” and likened it to “turning beer into 200-proof.”

Also confiscated from the home were three guns and cash.

Keener and an unidentified woman were inside when the DTF and city police officers used a battering ram to enter. An ambulance was called to the scene when the woman began experiencing difficulty breathing, but she was not transported for medical treatment.

Keener was not charged Thursday with drug-related offenses, although McLaughlin said charges are forthcoming once testing is complete.

However, city police officer cited Keener for littering due to garbage throughout his yard, including a recliner, television set and kitchen cabinet sitting in front of the home, as well as citing him for prohibitions against abandoned refrigerators due to a refrigerator sitting in the yard with the door unsecured, which officers pointed out posed a threat to children who might crawl inside.

At the request of Chief John Lane, a DTF officer used a screwdriver to remove the refrigerator door while they were still on the scene.

Police did arrest Gregory S. Kiger, 19, Vernia Street, for possession of marijuana after he and two other men were seen stopping their vehicle in front of the Ohio Avenue home while the officers were still in the process of searching it.

Kiger was patted down and found to have a small baggie of marijuana in his pocket, according to police. He and his friends were allowed to leave after he was issued his citation.

The home is owned by Matthew Anderson, Lantz Court, East Liverpool, according to the county auditor’s website.