JEFFERSON — Congressman Dave Joyce met with the head of Crime Enforcement Agency of Ashtabula County and the Lake County Drug Court last week.
Joyce met with CEAAC commander Detective Greg Leonhard on Sept. 30, discussing the coordination between the federal and local agencies, according to his office. Joyce also attended a meeting with the Lake County Drug Court last week, his office said.
“It was great of the Congressman to come out to visit with the Law Enforcement of Ashtabula County,” Leonhard said. “At times, areas such as ours are forgotten about due to our smaller population where in all reality we have the same issues the more urban areas have. We have seen a re-occurring trend of dealers coming from areas such as Cleveland and Akron to set up shop in our community.”
CEAAC was created earlier this year when the Trumbull Ashtabula Group dissolved. The Agency is made up of the Ashtabula, Geneva, and Conneaut Police Departments, and the Sheriff’s Department, along with the FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, and Drug Enforcement Agency.
“The CEAAC Task Force has worked hard since our creation on July 1 of this year … and has had a significant increase in the adoption of CEAAC Cases by Federal Agencies and also have been able to work more in the investigation of overdose deaths to prosecute dealers for manslaughter,” Leonhard said. “We will continue to look at other areas where we can improve Ashtabula County not only through enforcement but by outreach in problem neighborhoods. Hopefully this visit shined light on these needs and we appreciate Congressman Joyce’s attention to our concerns.”
Joyce, a former Geauga County Prosecutor, was impressed by the cooperation in between the local departments and the federal agencies, his office said. Joyce’s district includes Ashtabula, Lake, and Geauga counties.
“My time spent with both the Crime Enforcement Agency of Ashtabula and the Lake County Drug Court confirmed what I’ve believed for a long time now, that battling this epidemic requires an all-of-the-above approach that includes not only prevention and education efforts, but also promotes treatment, cracks down on illegal distribution, and enhances resources for first responders and law enforcement,” Joyce said.