Amber Owens and Leiayre Freeman.jpg

(11/04/19) – Van Wert County Sheriff Thomas M. Riggenbach announced that on October 31st, 2019, the West Central Ohio Crime Task Force, with the assistance of the Allen County Sheriff’s Office S.W.A.T. Team, served a drug related search warrant at 326 S. Franklin St. in Van Wert. The search warrant was the result of an investigation into alleged drug activity at the residence.

Items taken for evidentiary purposes during the search of the residence:

1. Moderate amount of suspected Cocaine
2. Suspected Marijuana
3. Drug Paraphernalia
4. Cell Phones
5. Suspected drug proceeds

Riggenbach said there were 2 adults present when the search warrant was executed.

Arrested at the residence was:

Leiayre Freeman, Age 26
326 S. Franklin St.
Van Wert, Ohio
1 Count of Possession of Cocaine, a Felony of the 2nd Degree

Amber Owens, Age 34
326 S. Franklin St.
Van Wert, Ohio
1 Count of Possession of Cocaine, a Felony of the 2nd Degree

Both Freeman and Owens were transported to the Van Wert County Correctional Facility where they were being held pending arraignment in the Van Wert Municipal Court. The investigation of drug activity is continuing and additional chargers may be filed.

Riggenbach advised that a nuisance abatement letter will be sent to the property owner to make him/her aware of what occurred on this property. The purpose of the nuisance abatement letter is to make the property owner aware of alleged illegal activity occurring within the owner’s property. The nuisance abatement letter directs property owners to take action in the hope s of abating any future illegal activity. Riggenbach said the law does allow for the seizure of property, if the property owner knowingly permits illegal activity to continue within their property.

Anyone that has information on drug activity contact the Van Wert County Sheriff’s Office. Citizens with information can call 419-238-3866 or use the Van Wert County Sheriff’s Office website at and click on the “Submit a Crime Tip” link. Anyone reporting information can remain anonymous.

People can also report information on other crimes by using the above options or by contacting Van Wert County Crime Stoppers at 419-238-STOP. People can also remain anonymous when contacting Crime Stoppers.

The West Central Ohio Crime Task Force is comprised of Officers from the Van Wert County Sheriff’s Office, Allen County Sheriff’s Office, Lima Police Department, and multiple State and Federal Agencies. The West Central Ohio Crime Task Force operates within a multi county area to combat drugs and major crimes.