Drug Suspects
Tommy D Pruitt and Alecksa Deanyell Howell

Celina, OH-Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey reports the arrest of two individuals for drug charges on Friday at approximately 3:00 PM. Grey reports that detectives were following up on a drug information, when the suspects were located in the City of Celina on Friday, afternoon, July 28. The detectives called for assistance from Celina Police Department. The suspects were followed to the city of St. Mary’s, where surveillance assistance was provided by the Auglaize County Sheriff’s Office and St. Mary’s Police Department. All agencies are members of the Grand Lake Drug Task Force and were acting in their capacity as task force officers.

The suspects made their way back to Mercer County, where the detectives observed a traffic violation that occurred on St Rte. 219. As they were approaching Coldwater, the Coldwater Police Department was called to assist in making a traffic stop. The Coldwater Police Department K-9 was requested at the scene. K-9 Mojo handled by Sgt Kyle Dues of the Coldwater Police Department alerted to the presence of drugs in the car. The driver of the car was searched and found to be in possession of four (4) capsules of suspected.

During the investigation, officers learned that a passenger inside the car was also in possession of heroin and had used a lubricant before the stop to conceal drugs in his rectum. The lubricant container was located in the vehicle. Both the female driver and male passenger were arrested for possession of drugs, a felony of the fifth degree. They were then transported to the Mercer County Jail by Sheriff’s Deputies and Coldwater Police Officers. Upon arrival at the jail, the male suspect was interviewed in the garage bay of the jail. Deputies explained to him that if he was concealing drugs inside his body, he would have additional charges for conveying drugs into a detention facility. He continued to deny that he had any drugs. He was booked into the jail, but separated from other inmates and a Sheriff’s Office employee stayed with him so he could not remove any drugs without being detected while detectives applied for and received a “body Cavity” Search Warrant. The affidavit for the search warrant was prepared by Mercer County Prosecutor Matt Fox. The affidavit was reviewed by Celina Municipal Court Judge James Scheer and a search warrant was issued by him.

Once the search warrant was received, deputies removed the male from the jail and transported him to Mercer Health in Coldwater; where a doctor conducted the search. Three bags of drugs were found inside the anal cavity of the male suspect. The drugs found are suspected to be Heroin and Methamphetamines, with an approximate weight of 17.5 grams. The approximate street value is $1,750.00.

Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey:

“This is why it is critical that the Sheriff’s Office puts a body scanner in the jail had we not developed the information about the drugs in his rectum, 17.5 grams of drugs would have entered the jail and possibly been shared with other inmates, the only way to stop it, is a body scanner.”

The male was then released from the hospital and was returned to the jail. Celina Municipal Court Judge James Scheer set a $100,000 bond.

Arrested was the passenger, 40 year old Tommy D Pruitt, 12444 West First Street Dayton, Ohio 45405. Pruitt is being held on charges of Possession of Drugs, with more charges expected to be filed once the Prosecutor’s Office has the report and an opportunity to review it.

Also arrested was the driver of the car, 23 year old Alecksa Deanyell Howell of 518 N Buckeye Street Celina, Ohio 45822. Howell is also being held on Possession of Drugs a Felony of the fifth degree. Howell was also cited for Driving under Suspension by the Coldwater Police Department .

“Any time we can get another drug dealer or drug user off of the streets, our community is a little safer. This case also shows the success of the all the agencies in both counties working together as the Grand Lake Drug Task Force.”