September 23, 2016
Contact: Brian McNeal
Phone Number: (571) 362-1498
Acting U.S. Attorney And DEA Announces Results Of Ongoing Efforts To Reduce Heroin Trafficking And Abuse In Southwestern Ohio
Also announced partnership with Kettering Schools and viewing of “Chasing the Dragon” documentary
KETTERING, Ohio - In the past year, federal, state and local law enforcement partnerships in 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. Included in the charges were two people charged with providing heroin that led to death.
Benjamin C. Glassman, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Timothy J. Plancon, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’(DEA) Detroit Field Division, Angela L. Byers, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of (FBI), Cincinnati 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.
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.”
“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.”
“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 DEA website, https://www.dea.gov/media/chasing-dragon.shtml.