MEDIA RELEASE
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OCTOBER 4, 2022
The South-Central Ohio Major Crimes Unit is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a United States Bureau of Justice Assistance COSSAP (Comprehensive Opioid Stimulant Substance Abuse Program) grant in the amount of $1,300,000.  This grant which will largely focus on the task force’s outreach program Project FORT will fund program activities over the next three years.  Project FORT which has become an integral part of the Major Crimes Unit’s comprehensive approach to curbing drug trafficking and substance use throughout Fairfield County will seek to expand housing opportunities, decrease transportation barriers, and continue to perform robust outreach to those with substance use disorders.
COSSAP logo
Commander Lowe said that “Since its inception in 2018 Project FORT has made a difference in Fairfield County and is saving lives”.  This unique blending of enforcement and outreach is changing the course of people’s lives and providing expedited treatment and recovery opportunities for those with substance use disorders.  FORT connects those in need with critical access to treatment and recovery programs through its network of care outside of the criminal justice system.  “These dollars will provide expedited access; and help ease current barriers like housing and transportation which inhibit people’s ability to enter or stay in recovery.”

Commander Lowe went on to say that “This award is significant, and further validates that leaders at the state and federal level recognize the great work being done in Fairfield County by the Major Crimes Unit, and Project FORT through its strategic partnerships with Law Enforcement and the Treatment and Recovery community. 

The Major Crimes Unit is a collaborative Law Enforcement Ohio HIDTA Task Force which includes the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office, Lancaster Police Department, Pickerington Police Department, Logan Police Department, Circleville Police Department, Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office, Athens Police Department, Athens County Sheriff’s Office, Ohio University Police Department, Ohio National Guard Counter Drug Program, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Ohio Department of Public Safety’s Ohio Narcotics Intelligence Center, and the Fairfield, Hocking, Athens, and Pickaway County Prosecutors Offices.

Project FORT is a collaboration which includes the Fairfield County ADAM-H Board, The Recovery Center, Ohio Guidestone, Lancaster Recovery Services, Creed of Recovery, New Horizons, Hope Valley, The Lighthouse Recovery Services, Connections West, Lutheran Social Services, The Vineyard, Lancaster Fire Department, Violet Twp Fire Department, Fairfield Medical Center, Fairfield County Health Department, and many other community partners.

For any additional information or questions please contact the Major Crimes Unit Commander Dennis Lowe at 740-808-0100 or via email at
dennis.lowe@fairfieldcountyohio.gov.

Press Release October 4, 2022
BREAKING NEWS
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On March 17, 2022, The South-Central Major Crimes Unit, with the assistance of the Athens County Sheriff’s Office, executed a search warrant at 7140 Selby Road, Lot 45, Athens Ohio, 45701 after an investigation into drug trafficking. The search of the residence produced over 64 grams of suspected fentanyl, over 13 grams of suspected methamphetamine, $2505.00 cash, and a 9mm handgun.
press March 17, 2022
Austin Ray Billingsley was arrested for:
Trafficking in drugs, ORC 2925.03 A1: a felony of the first degree.
Possession of a controlled substance, ORC 2925.11 A: a felony of the first degree.
Weapons under disability, ORC 2923.13 A4: a felony of the third degree.

Additional charges, pending BCI&I lab results, will be submitted to a grand jury at a later date. In accordance with Ohio Revised Code, South Central Major Crimes Unit is requesting a bond of $110,000 be set for Mr. Billingsley’s release.

This type of successful outcome which directly impacts the quality of life in our community, is a direct result of a collaborative effort between the South-Central Ohio Major Crimes Unit, its Law Enforcement partners, and the community. If you see suspicious activity or believe drugs are being used or sold in your neighborhood, please contact the Major Crimes Unit at 740-653-5224 ext. 3, your information can be anonymous. The Major Crimes Unit is a collaborative Law Enforcement Ohio HIDTA Task Force which includes the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office, Lancaster Police Department, Pickerington Police Department, Logan Police Department, , Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office, Circleville Police Department, Athens Police Department, Athens County Sheriff’s Office, Ohio University Police Department, Ohio National Guard Counter Drug Program, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Ohio Department of Public Safety’s Ohio Narcotics Intelligence Center, and the Fairfield, Hocking, Athens, and Pickaway County Prosecutors Offices.

For any additional information or questions please contact the Major Crimes Unit Commander Dennis Lowe at 740-808-0100 or via email at
dennis.lowe@fairfieldcountyohio.gov.

Press Release March 17, 2022
BREAKING NEWS
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On Tuesday March 15, 2022, The South-Central Ohio Major Crimes Unit with the assistance of the Lancaster Police Department Strategic Response Team, Detective Bureau, the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office Detective Bureau, and the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation ended a brief narcotic trafficking and stolen property investigation with the execution of a search warrant at 116 E. Winding St. Lancaster and the arrest of a Lancaster man. This investigation involved the distribution of Methamphetamine, and Fentanyl throughout the region and resulted in the arrest of Randall L. Gilkerson Jr. 44 of 116 E. Winding St. Lancaster, Ohio. Gilkerson was booked into the Fairfield County Jail on one count of possession of drugs, a Felony of the 2nd degree with additional trafficking charges to be presented to the Fairfield County Prosecutors Office. Seized during the investigation was more than 159 grams Methamphetamine, 25 grams of the dangerous synthetic opioid Fentanyl, digital scales, packaging materials, and $1,289.00 in currency.

This type of successful outcome which directly impacts the quality of life in our community, is a direct result of a collaborative effort between the South-Central Ohio Major Crimes Unit, its Law Enforcement partners, and the community. If you see suspicious activity or believe drugs are being used or sold in your neighborhood, please contact the Major Crimes Unit at 740-653-5224 ext. 3, your information can be anonymous. The Major Crimes Unit is a collaborative Law Enforcement Ohio HIDTA Task Force which includes the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office, Lancaster Police Department, Pickerington Police Department, Logan Police Department, Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office, Circleville Police Department, Athens Police Department, Athens County Sheriff’s Office, Ohio University Police Department, Ohio National Guard Counter Drug Program, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Ohio Department of Public Safety’s Ohio Narcotics Intelligence Center, and the Fairfield, Hocking, Athens, and Pickaway County Prosecutors Offices.
press March 15, 2022
For any additional information or questions please contact the Major Crimes Unit Commander Dennis Lowe at 740-808-0100 or via email at dennis.lowe@fairfieldcountyohio.gov

Press Release March 16, 2022

- Previous Investigations
AWARD RECEIVED
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award
Ohio Task Force of The Year Award

On Wednesday September 15, 2021, the Fairfield-Athens-Pickaway Major Crimes was selected as the Ohio Drug Task Force of the year by the Ohio Narcotics Association of Regional Coordinating Officers ( Ohio NARCO).

The task force was recognized for their exceptional collaboration, and drug enforcement efforts which included investigations at both the state and federal level. 

Just one of those investigations resulted in the seizure of more than five pounds of Fentanyl, fifteen pounds of heroin, fifty pounds of methamphetamine, twenty-eight firearms and the recovery of more than $1,000,000 in stolen vehicles. The Major Crimes Unit was also noted for their innovation and fidelity to community outreach through Project FORT providing expedited access to treatment and recovery services to those with substance use disorders outside of the criminal justice system.

Major Crimes Unit Commander Dennis Lowe said that “The entire team is incredibly humbled and honored to be selected as the Ohio Task Force of the Year.” 

“The men and women of the Major Crimes Unit are dedicated professionals who work tirelessly to address issues impacting the community involving drug trafficking and substance use.”  Commander Lowe went on to say that” This award and the work that led up to it would not be possible without the incredible level of collaboration, trust and support of the agencies who participate in the task force.”
| ABOUT US

SOUTH CENTRAL MAJOR CRIMES UNIT

The Major Crimes Unit is a collaborative effort between area law enforcement agencies. It's goal is to reduce drug offenses and street level crime and to provide expedited access to treatment and recovery options outside of the criminal justice system.

Circleville Seizure

In June of 2021 MCU in collaboration with the Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office and the Circleville Police Department seized more than 45 grams of Fentanyl, 39 grams of Methamphetamine, approximately 20 Xanax, and the arrest of two Circleville residents on drug charges.
Operation Ice Market
Operation Ice Market

Part of a 3lb seizure of methamphetamine seized during Operation Ice Market. It was a collaborative investigation targeting a drug trafficking organization operating out of Columbus and supplying Fairfield County with methamphetamine.
National Drug Take Back
National Drug Take Back

The Major Crimes Unit & Project FORT in collaboration with Ohio National Guard Counterdrug Program and our partners at Kroger collected more than 40lbs of prescription medication preventing it from being diverted into the community. 

Our next National Drug Take back events will be held on October 23, 2021, at the Memorial Dr. Kroger in Lancaster, Hill Rd Kroger in Pickerington, and the Chieftan Dr. Kroger in Logan from 10:00 -2:00
MCU Interdiction
MCU Interdiction

An MCU Interdiction officer and his K9 partner working with a Pickerington PD officer as part of a drug interdiction operation in 201