Ohio watchdog critical of prison investigators

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The state watchdog says Ohio prison investigators didn't have the authority to take suspects in a contraband drug scheme into custody off prison grounds.

The report by the Ohio Inspector General also criticizes a state highway patrol officer assigned to the investigation unit for not taking a more direct role in the operation.

The report released Wednesday cites acts of wrongdoing during the May 2011 investigation south of Columbus and says findings had been referred to the Pickaway County prosecutor.

Prison investigators following a Pickaway Correctional Institution employee and two women suspected of bringing drugs into the prison handcuffed the employee and detained the women in a parking lot on private property.

A prisons spokeswoman says the report was being reviewed while a patrol spokeswoman could not immediately comment.