Boardman police arrest three people following Wildwood Drive drug raid


By Jordyn Grzelewski

jgrzelewski@vindy.com

BOARDMAN

For months, neighbors suspected the house at 120 Wildwood Drive was a haven for drug activity.

Police had made arrests there twice since March.

Then a raid Friday by the township police department’s narcotics enforcement unit led to three people being led from the house in handcuffs.

Now Police Chief Jack Nichols said Friday that his department will work with the Mahoning County Prosecutor’s Office to have the Wildwood residence declared a nuisance.

Neighbors, who did not want to be identified, said they often saw vehicles coming and going from the residence, staying at the house for approximately five to 10 minutes. They see the same vehicles coming back every few days.

“We don’t want our neighborhood to become that type of environment,” said one neighbor.

It’s those kinds of complaints that usually are the starting point for police, Nichols said.

“It begins with neighbor complaints about frequent traffic in and out for short periods of time, at all times of day or night,” he said.

Those tips initiate investigations. The next steps likely include surveillance of the house, checks of the license plates on vehicles that go to the location and traffic stops that can lead police to drugs and drug users who can offer information.

“It takes a lot of time,” said Nichols.

Another Wildwood neighbor said it was especially concerning because her house resembles 120 Wildwood, and suspicious vehicles often would pull into her driveway before pulling out and going to the other house.

“I am fearful for my life, because they all think it’s his house,” she said, referring to Michael J. Forgach, 41, who was among those arrested. Mahoning County auditor records show that the house is owned by John and Theodora Forgach, who records indicate live and own property in North Carolina.

Michael Forgach, along with Syrena Whitfield, 25, and Dawond Roddy, 31, all of whom reportedly live at the Wildwood address, were arrested on charges of heroin possession, possession of drug-abuse instruments, possession of drug paraphernalia and permitting drug abuse, according to police.

Court records indicate that township police on Friday also filed a charge of inducing panic against Whitfield. A report on the incident leading to that charge, which occurred in April, was not immediately available.

Police sometimes charge drug-overdose victims with inducing panic. Neighbors said someone had recently overdosed at the Wildwood house.

After Friday’s raid, police reported finding drug paraphernalia and suspected heroin in the house.

The house was the site of two other raids earlier this year.

On March 8, police found a stash of drug-related items while serving a search warrant, including numerous crack pipes and hypodermic needles. That search reportedly turned up: small bags containing suspected marijuana; numerous crack pipes; hypodermic needles; a spoon with suspected drug residue on it; a small amount of cash; a digital scale; five 9 mm rounds of ammunition, and other drug-related items. Forgach was arrested on charges of possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of drug-abuse instruments. Court records list those charges as dismissed.

On April 12, Forgach again was arrested at the home on charges of permitting drug abuse, possession of drug-abuse instruments, possession of drug paraphernalia and two counts of drug possession. A search at that time turned up crack pipes, a digital scale, $115 in cash, plastic bags, hypodermic needles and other drug-related items, police said. Police also found substances that tested positive for cocaine and heroin.

Court records indicate that the case based on the April incident was bound over for a grand jury to review.

Forgach was indicted Thursday by a Mahoning County grand jury on charges of possession of heroin, possession of cocaine and permitting drug abuse.

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