On March 15, 2023, members of the MARMET Drug Task Force and the Cleveland and Cincinnati offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation executed four search warrants as a part of a major drug trafficking investigation. They were assisted by the Marion Police Department; the Marion County Sheriff’s Office; Wyandot County Major Crimes Unit; the Morrow County Sheriff’s Office; the US Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of Ohio and the Marion County Prosecutor's Office.
This months long investigation spurred search warrants to be executed in the 800 block of Adams St.; 800 block of Central Drive and 600 block of Pearl St all in Marion. The 5200 block of Township Rd 59 in Mt. Gilead, Ohio was the scene of the execution of a search warrant as well. These search warrants led to the seizure of 941 grams of suspected Fentanyl; three firearms; and a drug press. The target of the investigation was Christopher B. Payne Jr., age 24 of Pearl Street in Marion. Payne was arrested and taken to the Multi-County Correctional Center on 2 counts of Trafficking in Fentanyl, a felony of the 1 st degree. Additional charges may be pursued at a later date.
“This investigation and the resulting arrests made our community safer. A major drug offender has been taken off our streets, as well as three firearms. I am so proud of the detectives who worked on this case over the period of months and the resulting impact the investigation will have on Marion County” said Marion County Sheriff Matt Bayles.
“This extremely large seizure of suspected Fentanyl likely saved lives. Two milligrams of Fentanyl can be lethal depending on a person’s body size, tolerance and past usage. So, this seizure of 941 grams of suspected Fentanyl could have potentially killed 470,500 people or to put it another way…every person in Marion County more than seven times over. The MARMET Drug Task Force will continue to investigate and lock up traffickers who bring this poison into our community” said MPD Major Chris Adkins of the MARMET Drug Task Force.
“Law Enforcement in Marion County aggressively investigates drug traffickers and the reason we do is because so many of our friends and neighbors have been killed in fatal drug overdoses. This investigation removed a major supplier from the community and we know that we are all safer because of it. I want to thank our federal and regional partners for their partnership. We are proud of those who worked so hard on this case” said Marion Police Chief Jay McDonald