LORAIN — Lorain police made two drug-trafficking arrests Wednesday and Tuesday after a weekend string of opiate-related overdoses in Lorain County.
Police charged Ricki Perkins, 22, with trafficking cocaine and heroin, possession of drugs, possession of criminal tools and illegal conveyance around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday on Broadway.
Antwan Gilbert, 20, who was with Perkins at the time of his arrest, was charged with permitting drug abuse and illegal conveyance, with more charges pending.
After a rash of drug overdoses last weekend, Police had launched an investigation regarding Perkins, who they were told was trafficking cocaine and heroin in Lorain, Lorain police Detective Chris Colon said.
About 2:30 p.m. police saw Perkins in the passenger seat of a vehicle driven by Gilbert, and police pulled over the men after they saw alleged drug activity.
Perkins and Gilbert were strip-searched after being charged and both men were found attempting to hide heroin between their legs, Colon said. Gilbert tried to throw away the drugs he was carrying but was caught by police, Colon said.
On Tuesday afternoon, Bryan Atkinson, 23, was charged with possession of criminal tools, trafficking heroin and cocaine, possession of heroin and cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia and illegal conveyance of drugs near his house at 616 E. 34th St. in Lorain.
Colon said that police had been watching Atkinson after a series of drug overdoses in Lorain County, which started Friday. Atkinson was released from jail recently where he was being held on drug trafficking charges.
“He is well known by (Lorain police) narcotics,” Colon said.
After police received a tip that Atkinson was selling cocaine and heroin in Lorain, they saw the 23-year-old conduct a drug deal with an unknown buyer on a street in Lorain, Colon said. Police took Atkinson into custody after the deal and brought him to the police station, where they conducted a strip search and found Atkinson hiding a bag of cocaine between his legs, Colon said.
The arrests are part of a larger investigation into the 23 drug overdoses in the county last weekend. Police believe many of those overdoses were caused by pure fentanyl, which was being sold in the county as heroin.
“We’re trying to track down leads,” Colon said.