Acting U.S. Attorney Announces Results of Ongoing Efforts to Reduce Herion Trafficking in Southwestern Ohio
KETTERING, Ohio – In the past year, federal, state and local law enforcement partnerships in the southwestern Ohio have seized more than 35 kilograms of heroin and ten kilograms of fentanyl, and charged 96 people federally in 47 cases with trafficking heroin, including charging two people with providing the heroin that killed someone.
Benjamin C. Glassman, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Angela L. Byers, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Field Division,Timothy J. Plancon, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Detroit Field Division, and members of the Montgomery County Drug Free Coalition announced the results today.
“We’ve opened a new federal case involving heroin trafficking roughly once every eight days,” Glassman said. “Unfortunately we’re still seeing a fatal heroin overdose in the region roughly once every two days. So we’re not announcing victory, but a reaffirmation of our commitment to continuing to fight the opioid problem in southwestern Ohio through enforcement, treatment and prevention.”
Investigators received almost $250,000 from the National Heroin Initiative in October 2015 to support officers and technology to investigate heroin and opiate trafficking crimes. Most of the cases are still working their way through the courts, but so far, 38 people have been convicted of heroin or opioid trafficking crimes during that period. Charges are pending against the remainder. Twenty-one have been sentenced to date with sentences ranging from one to five years. Trafficking heroin is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Two people face federal charges of providing a heroin/fentanyl mixture that resulted in the death of the victim, a crime punishable by at least 20 years and up to life in prison, if convicted.
“We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to attempt to eradicate the supply of harmful drugs,” stated FBI Cincinnati Division Special Agent in Charge Angela L. Byers. “We must also work with the community to try to prevent more people from becoming addicted to these substances. The Chasing the Dragon documentary is one good tool that can be used to better educate people about the dangers of heroin and other opiates.”
“A critical component to reducing the opiate and heroin abuse epidemic in this country is to continue to find effective ways to communicate the dangers of drug use. The ‘Chasing the Dragon’ documentary provides an up close look at the perils of abusing prescription painkillers and heroin, and should serve as a wakeup call for people to understand the danger and potential lethality of that behavior.”
U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch designated the week of September 19-23 as National Heroin and Opioid Awareness Week. Glassman made the announcement after a panel discussion with students at Fairmont High School in Kettering who had viewed the documentary “Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opiate Addict.”
“Because of the growing epidemic of prescription drug and heroin use among our young people in every community and every neighborhood across the U.S., we here in Kettering feel that it is imperative that schools step up and actively partner with law enforcement agencies and prevention and recovery agencies to educate our students about the dangers and life-changing consequences of opioid addiction,” said Scott Inskeep, Superintendent of Schools for the Kettering School District.
The FBI and DEA produced the video which is available for viewing at the FBI website, https://www.fbi.gov/video-repository/newss-chasing-the-dragon-the-life-of-an-opiate-addict/view, the DEA website, https://www.dea.gov/media/chasing-dragon.shtml, or on YouTube.