An Arizona woman is being held on felony drug charges after Celina Police officers intercepted her pick-up of approximately 24 pounds of marijuana from a local shipping service.
NEWS RELEASE: 11-12-07
The 19-year old suspect, of Arizona was taken into custody shortly after 4:00PM on Friday, after picking up a package from United Parcel Service on Industrial Drive. She was stopped near Grand Lake & Industrial Drive as she left the business.
The shipment addressed to the suspect had contained a compacted package of marijuana, wrapped in paper and plastic and packaged in a cardboard box. The Celina Police Department had received information that the package contained marijuana and had intercepted it to insure that the drugs never made it to the street level. Also seized at the time of her arrest was a 1995 Cadillac and approximately $430.00 cash.
On Monday, November 12, 2007, formal charges were filed against Mariela K. Escobar, (19), San Luis, Arizona, She was charged with Trafficking in Drugs, a third degree felony. Escobar appeared in Celina Municipal Court on Monday afternoon for arraignment. She was ordered held on a $1,000,000.00 bond, which is subject to 10%.
The Celina Police Department is continuing to work with other law enforcement agencies to continue their investigation into the flow of drugs into this area.
OVI CHECKPOINT REVIEW
This was the first OVI Checkpoint held in Mercer County. The location was chosen due to several logistical and safety issues that could be easily addressed by using Lakeshore Drive. Of the 160 vehicles that passed through the checkpoint, four were diverted. This resulted in two DUS citations, one expired operator's license citation and one expired tag citation. While two of the drivers were asked to perform field sobriety tests, there were no OVI arrests made.
The area used for Diversion, parking and media were all city-owned lots.
The roadway is heavily traveled, but not a route that has to be used for specific destinations.
The parking areas were large enough for equipment trailers and checkpoint traffic.
Power was available, if needed.
The area abuts a park and is posted at 20 mph, making it safer for officers at the Checkpoint.
If necessary or preferable, there was sufficient space to reverse the Checkpoint direction.
Several factors weighed into the date and time of the Checkpoint. This included the availability of the OVI trailer from OSP, availability of lighting systems, local special events, (such as high school football), manpower demands and manpower availability. Unfortunate it ended up falling on a night that an undefeated OSU team played Penn State in a night game. In this region of the state that game affected the traffic flow between 7:30PM and 10:30PM.
Because of Mercer County being a rural area with low populations, the local law enforcement agencies are small in nature and do not normally have enough officers available to handle the demands of a checkpoint using in-house staff. Since this was the first checkpoint held in the county, all Mercer County Law Enforcement agencies were invited to participate. This allowed the detail to become a training experience for local officers. Several officers did switch responsibilities during the checkpoint so that they would have some experience at all levels. The checkpoint and saturation patrols included officers from Celina PD, Ohio State Patrol, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Mercer County Sheriffs Office, Coldwater, Rockford, St. Henry and Ft. Recovery Police Departments.
It was also a learning experience for the public; most of who have never faced anything like an OVI Checkpoint while driving on local roadways. We found nearly every motorist to be accepting of the short delay and courteous towards the officers. Even those subjects diverted and cited did not question the checkpoint as the means that led to their citation.
Saturation patrols that worked the areas around the checkpoint from 8:00PM till 3:00AM made over 105 traffic stops resulting in over 80 warnings, and 20 citations, including 4 OVI arrests. One subject was actually arrested twice for OVI; the violations occurred about 2 hours apart.
It was the consensus of everyone involved that the OVI Checkpoint was a tremendous success; as an enforcement tool, a prevention campaign, an educational promotion and a training experience.
NEWS RELEASE: 05-02-06
The Celina Police Department has been awarded a new 2006 Ford Police Interceptor cruiser in connection with the annual What's Holding You Back, (WHYB)campaign conducted by the Ohio Governor's Highway Safety Office, (GHSO).
The WHYB campaign is an annual summer promotion designed to increase safety belt enforcement, awareness and usage on Ohio highways. Ohio law enforcement agencies track their local efforts towards both enforcement and education and submit their programs to the GHSO for review. The top agencies in the state are selected and have an opportunity to draw for one of two new cruisers given away each year.
The Celina Police Department has qualified as one of the top agencies in the state each of the last five years. This is the second time the department has won a cruiser as the result of its efforts. A winning key was also drawn at last year's promotion luncheon. Both events were held in Columbus.
Also recognized for their efforts in the local WHYB campaign was the Celina Senior High School Marching Band. As part of the local education and promotional efforts the band has played the "Buckle Up for Safety" tune that was part of nationwide safety belt campaigns in the 60's and 70's. Members of the Celina Senior High School Marching Band were invited to Columbus to play at this year's WHYB Kick-off event. Band members were present to watch their local police agency win a second new cruiser.
The cruiser won this year will be marked with special graphics to promote the What's Holding You Back safety belt campaign that led to the department receiving the vehicle. The winning car from last year was marked with similar graphics.
The WHYB Kick-off was held on TUE, 04-25-06.
The new cruiser is expected to be delivered late this summer.
April 07, 2006: The Celina Police Department has been awarded a new 2006 Ford Interceptor Police Cruiser in recognition of its safety belt enforcement and education efforts. The department, along with other Ohio law enforcement agencies participates in a voluntary program to promote safety belt use and enforce Ohio safety belt laws. The Ohio Governor's Highway Safety Office chooses the top twenty agencies involved in the program and each recieves an equipment grant for speed detection devices or cruiser video units. A representative from each agency then has an opportunity to draw a key and attempt to start a new police cruiser. If the key starts the car they win the cruiser.
Two cruisers are given away each year. Celina won the car in 2005 and it was delivered last month. On Thursday 04-06-06 the car was placed into service after a dedication ceremony at Celina Senior High School. The dedication was conducted at the local high school to show the department's appreciation to the students who have help support and promote safety belt use in the community. The CSHS marching band plays the "Buckel up for Safety" jingle at each sporting event they attend and CSHS atheletes help with a safety belt promotion during a home football game each year. The student's participation is a large part of the program that qualifies the Celina Police Department for the cruiser drawing each year.
The Celina Police Department will be drawing a key to try to win a second new cruiser later this month. The agency has once again qualified as a top twenty enforcement and education agency in the State of Ohio. This is the fifth consecutive year the agency has been eligible for the drawing.
Photos show local and state officials with the CSHS Marching Band and students as the new cruiser is dedicated. The car was left on display during the student lunch periods so they would have an opporunity to look over the car and equipment they helped the department obtain.
Local Officials at cruiser dedication
Students check out the free cruiser they
helped the Celina Police