December 20, 2014

Elyria
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Elyria police arrest mid-level drug dealer

Howard Lawrence

Howard Lawrence

ELYRIA — A man police described as a mid-level drug dealer was arrested Thursday after officers conducted a search of a West Broad Street home. 

Elyria police Capt. Chris Costantino said the operation was conducted by the Elyria Narcotics Unit, which had been working on the case for more than a month, and the Elyria Police Special Response Team. Costantino said after complaints of drug activity at a home in the 800 block of West Broad Street, police set up several drug buys leading to the arrest of a dealer, Howard Lawrence.

Lawrence, 37, was charged with trafficking in crack cocaine, possession of crack cocaine, possession of Oxycodone, illegal use of Women, Infants and Children benefits and drug paraphernalia.

“I look at him as someone who always had an inventory of the drug,” Costantino said.

He said Lawrence had crack cocaine packaged for sale on the table when police conducted the search of the home. He was also in possession of someone else’s WIC benefits card, according to police.

Police said Lawrence confessed to the charges, and he was taken to Lorain County Jail.

Costantino said the latest arrest is an example of the hard work of the Elyria Narcotics Unit — a group of four police officers and a sergeant who focus specifically on drug-related crime in the city.

“I’m really proud of the effort of our Narcotics Unit,” he said. “It’s not a big unit, but they certainly have a lot of responsibility.”

Contact Chelsea Miller at 329-7123 or cmiller@chroniclet.com.