Clermont County, Ohio- During the early morning hours of October 9, 2008, members of the Clermont County Drug Task Force in conjunction with officers from nine other law enforcement agencies began serving 47 suspects with arrest warrants as a result of the Clermont County Grand Jury action yesterday in returning a total of 121 counts against these individuals involving the trafficking of drugs.
Sheriff A.J. “Tim” Rodenberg said, “The investigation dubbed “OPIATE BLOCKER” concentrated on persons who were involved in trafficking and abusing various opiates, including morphine, codeine, Oxycontin, Percocet, methadone, and heroin. The number of individuals identified and charged constitutes the highest number ever within Clermont County as the result of a single investigative operation.”
Chief Deputy Rick W. Combs said, “The investigation was initiated in January 2008 by the drug task force as a result of the dramatic increase of opiate-related complaints, crimes, overdoses, and deaths which specifically involved Black Tar Heroin. The task force seized or purchased seventeen grams of heroin in all of 2007 compared to 301.5 grams in this operation alone.” Metropolitan police agencies started seeing larger amounts of heroin hitting the streets in their communities early in 2007. “When opiate related drugs began showing up in our area about fourteen months ago, we focused more resources in this area,” Combs said. “Most of the heroin appears to be of the type commonly referred to as “Black Tar” originating from and being transported from Mexico. Black Tar is less potent and somewhat cheaper to purchase than some other forms of heroin.”
The drug task force worked jointly with local authorities to compile offense reports, collect evidence, and develop informants which enabled agents to identify both abusers of the substances as well as those individuals who were trafficking in the opiates. “This is evident by the high number of criminal charges the many suspects are facing,” Combs said.
Sheriff Rodenberg said, “Task force agents are continuing to follow up other information related to the filing of sixteen additional felony charges involving eight suspects through Clermont County Municipal Court this morning, October 9, 2008. These cases developed recently which did not allow time to have them presented to the Grand Jury yesterday. Additionally, the Clermont County Grand Jury previously indicted six other individuals for 44 counts as a part of this operation. This makes a total of 61 individuals that have been indicted or charged with 185 felony offenses.” The operation is continuing and more indictments or criminal charges are likely. “Having to report a substantial increase of heroin abuse and sales in our community marks a sad time for Clermont County, however, our efforts in this operation indicate we are committed to uncovering and addressing serious illegal drug activity within our jurisdiction, ” said Sheriff Rodenberg.
The Clermont County Drug Task Force is under the direction and supervision of the Clermont County Sheriff and is comprised of undercover officers from the Clermont County Sheriff’s Office, City of Milford Police Department, and the Union, Pierce, and Miami Township Police Departments. You may request photographs of those arrested by contacting Mary Gregory at 732-7405.
Download a copy of the press release (including arrest information)