3 arrested in Columbus on heroin possession or dealing

The county’s Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team has arrested three people for heroin dealing or possession, including an individual linked to the 17-year-old juvenile who overdosed in a Columbus parking lot last week.

Assisted by Columbus police officers, detectives served an arrest warrant on Joseph L. Leszcynski, 31, of 4165 Roselawn Ave., at 5:15 p.m. Monday when he was found in a vehicle on Central Avenue near 10th Street, said Lt. Matt Harris, Columbus Police Department spokesman.

Officers found heroin inside Leszcynski’s clothing when he was arrested, Harris said. He was arrested on preliminary charges of two counts of dealing a narcotic drug and possession of heroin, Harris said. He is being held in the Bartholomew County Jail in lieu of $57,500 bond, jail officials said.

In addition to Leszcynski’s arrest, after several months investigation, detectives linked Cyrus P. Nida, 19, of 2663 Forest Drive, with a group of suspects arrested last September in Columbus, Harris said.

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Those suspects were accused of bringing fentanyl-laced heroin into Columbus and selling it from a home on Hope Avenue last September, resulting in nine overdoses being reported in the county the weekend of Sept. 17 and 18, seven of them involving heroin.

No one died in the string of overdoses, which also included one methamphetamine overdose and another related to LSD, officers reported then. Eight of the nine overdoses occurred in Columbus.

Detectives served an arrest warrant on Nida and said they observed him dealing narcotics in the driveway of his Forest Drive home, Harris said. When Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team members searched the home, along with Columbus police and Bartholomew County sheriff’s deputies, they found four grams of heroin, a handgun, a loaded shotgun, a large amount of ammunition and drug paraphernalia, Harris said.

Nida was arrested early Tuesday morning on charges of two counts of dealing a narcotic drug, dealing in heroin, possession of heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia, Harris said. Also arrested at the residence was a 17-year-old juvenile who was taken to the Bartholomew County Youth Services Center on preliminary charges of possession of heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia, Harris said.

During the investigation, detectives determined that Nida traveled outside Bartholomew County to obtain heroin and returned to Columbus to distribute it, and linked him to several overdoses that have occurred in the area, Harris said.

Nida is being held in the Bartholomew County Jail in lieu of $350,000 bond, jail officials said.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.