EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio (WYTV) – Action taken by residents of an East Liverpool neighborhood helped officers arrest two people Friday suspected of selling drugs out of their house.
Peggy Strub, 57, and Mariah McClellan, 26, were arrested after officers searched their home at 826 Chester Avenue. Both are charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, while McClellan is also charged with drug abuse instruments.
“At one point in time – honestly in a half hour – I would see at least 15 to 20 people stopping by here,” neighbor Brian Jones said.
Jones and Kaci O’Neil live on Chester Avenue.
They like living there for the most part. There’s just one major problem – the house a few doors down.
O’Neil lives next door to 826 Chester Avenue. She says she’s afraid to let their children play in the community park behind her home because of all of the suspected drug activity.
“It’s scary. It’s very scary,” O’Neil said. “That’s not anything that anybody wants to see, have their children see or grow up next to.”
So O’Neil, Jones and several other neighbors took action.
Every time they saw suspected drug activity at the house or suspicious behavior by the playground, they called police. Their tips helped officers make the two arrests Friday afternoon.
According to a report, officers found a crack pipe, syringe needle and digital scale during their search.
East Liverpool police are familiar with the house.
“They don’t have the concern for the public,” East Liverpool Police Chief John Lane said. “They don’t have the concern for the community. It’s simply about making money – and they’re feeding their own habit as well.”
Strub and McClellan made bond, and Strub was back at the house Saturday.
WYTV talked with her, but she didn’t want to go on camera. She said she doesn’t deal or use drugs and neither does her daughter.
Neighbors say they aren’t giving up on making sure their neighborhood is safe.
“See something, say something,” O’Neil said. “And just stick together as a community – try to stop this problem.”
“Get the hell out of my neighborhood,” neighbor Michael Hanlon said. “Take your drugs. Get the hell out of my neighborhood. Don’t come back.”