Wednesday’s drug case indictments were the last ones handled by Delaware County Drug Prosecutor Brian Walter, who departed the office last week.
Walter joined the Delaware County Prosecutor’s Office in 2010 and became the county’s first drug prosecutor in 2014. Walter said he prosecuted every felony case involving drugs in Delaware County and handled a variety of cases from possession cases to drug trafficking rings.
Walter said Wednesday he is leaving the office after he took a position on the Ohio Board of Nursing.
“I’m looking for the next challenge,” Walter said. “I’ve certainly enjoyed being the drug prosecutor. It’s a rewarding position to be in, and there are a lot of drug cases out there. I’m glad to be able to do my part for those few years.”
Walter said that over his time at the prosecutor’s office, he’s seen increases in drug cases in the county and seen the impact of the opioids epidemic firsthand.
“I’ve seen the impact it’s had and continues to have on the community,” Walter said. “The drug prosecution position they have here has been invaluable.”
Head of the Delaware County Drug Task Force, Sgt. Randy Pohl, said Wednesday that Walter was a valuable ally to the task force.
“Brian was an aggressive prosecutor who loved the larger-scale drug cases that demanded extensive prison sentences,” Pohl said. “He didn’t back down and take pleas that were not appropriate. He always made himself available for detectives at the (Drug Task Force) no matter the time of day or night. When he was originally assigned as the drug prosecutor, he was inexperienced and not very well versed in drug investigations. Through experience and time, he became quite knowledgeable of the work we do. He became very passionate about convicting those people responsible for bringing drugs into our communities. He’ll certainly be missed, and we wish him well.”
Walter said there’s several things he’ll miss about the position.
“I’ll miss the people I work with here and the court staff,” Walter said. “Seeing people get successfully off intervention in lieu of conviction and turn their lives around, that’s rewarding aspect of it, too. We’ve had a lot of successful prosecutions of major drug dealers. We’ve had lengthy sentences for major drug offenders. (They were) bringing massive amounts of drugs into our community.”
Walter said he’s appreciative of Delaware County Prosecutor Carol O’Brien and the community.
“The prosecutor in drug cases is a small part of it,” Walter said. “From law enforcement officers who do a great job investigating these cases, providing us evidence and strong cases. The treatment facilities do a great job. The probation officers do a great job. Everyone on that spectrum is doing a great job trying to do what we can to fight this battle.”
The prosecutor’s office said Wednesday that a new drug prosecutor has not yet been appointed.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.