The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

May 4, 2009

Zip’s sniff catches whiff

Canine cop finds heroin, cocaine in traffic stop

By MARGIE TRAX PAGE - Staff Writer - mtrax@starbeacon.com

SAYBROOK TOWNSHIP — One sniff from Geneva canine police officer Zip sent DeMarcus Fields to jail Saturday evening after officers found cocaine and heroin in a secret dashboard compartment.

Ashtabula County Sheriff’s Deputy James Truckey stopped Fields, 28, of Cleveland at the Flying J gas station on the Austinburg Township, Saybrook Township line at 8 p.m., Geneva police reports show.

“(Fields) has a history of drug trafficking and drug abuse,” Geneva police officer Doug Zetlaw noted in his police report.

Fields has no record in the Ashtabula County court system and no previous drug charges in Ashtabula Municipal Court, court records show.

Zip jumped on the car, alerting officers to the presence of narcotics. Zetlaw, Truckey and Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper Dan Jesse searched the car and found four bundles of heroin and 5.3 grams of white powder, which officers tentatively identified as heroin or cocaine, Geneva police reports show.

The drugs were found in a secret dashboard compartment, hidden behind a decorative emblem, Zetlaw said.

Fields was arrested and taken to the Ashtabula County Jail, where he remains after his arraignment in Ashtabula Municipal Court Monday, court records show. Fields failed to post $20,000 bond cash or surety, court records show, and was appointed a public defender. He is charged with two counts of drug trafficking.

Fields’ trial date has not yet been set, court records show.