EAST PALESTINE — The village police department’s second planned drug interdiction this year resulted in at least seven arrests over last weekend.

According to a press release from East Palestine police, the interdiction involved officers and K-9 units from East Palestine and the highway patrol.

The interdiction ran May 18-19 in East Palestine and the surrounding area.

Police Chief Jim Brown III said earlier this year that the department would be holding more interdictions over the year to crack down on drug trafficking, with assistance from the patrol and county drug task force.

The first interdiction was held in late February and resulted in drug-related charges filed on three people. That interdiction lasted four hours while the most recent interdiction lasted two days.

Police said several vehicles were stopped and K-9s were deployed on many of the stops during the recent interdiction.

Suspected heroin and marijuana was seized and charges will be filed at a later date, the release stated.

Police and troopers made three OVI arrests, two felony warrant arrests, one failure to reinstate, and one open container arrest, in addition to numerous miscellaneous traffic citations.

“This is just one of the many proactive drug initiatives we have planned for the year. I am proud of the work the officers did this weekend. I am really proud of the relationships that our officers have built with the outside agencies. It just shows the level of commitment that all of the officers have in keeping the community safe,” Chief Brown said.

He added that he would like to thank the highway patrol for their efforts in assisting the local department with combating illegal drugs.

He also encouraged people to report drug activity by calling the police department at 330-426-4341.

The police department is also working to combat drug problems locally through education, training and communication with the public.

In April, Brown discussed the opioid epidemic and local drug abuse issues with the the Ladies Aid Society. Sgt. Brian Moore is also still teaching the DARE program for village schools and Lt. Don Johnson and K-9 Toney recently completed their annual Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy certification in narcotics, tracking and article searches.

According to the department’s monthly activity report for April, police responded to 153 reports, with the majority of those relating to suspicious person or vehicle reports, domestic violence calls and juvenile complaints.

Police also issued 38 traffic citations and responded to one traffic crash that month.