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GetSmart About Drugs - A DEA Resource for Parents

News Release
April 8, 2003

Contact: David Jacobson at (313) 234-4220

Ohio State Highway Patrol Making Major Contributions To Stop Drugs From Coming To Ohio

APR 8--Dayton, Ohio- On April 8, 2003, members of the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) did what they have been doing very well for a long time. They intercepted a large load of illegal drugs that were entering Ohio, before they could be distributed. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) have had a long and productive relationship together that has significantly reduced the amount of illegal drugs making their way to cities throughout Ohio.

During this recent instance, an OSHP Trooper was on patrol in Preble County, Ohio. During a "routine" traffic stop, the Troopers investigative senses alerted him that this was more than a traffic stop. On Interstate-70 near Jefferson Township, the OSHP Troop knew he needed to scrutinize the occupants and circumstances at hand more closely. After engaging the occupants in conversation and noticing several investigative indicators that may indicate drug trafficking involvement, the Trooper requested that Drug Detection K-9 Buckeye respond to the scene. "Buckeye" and his handler arrived and "Buckeye" alerted to the presence of a controlled substance. Further examination of the minivan by Troopers revealed an electronically controlled hidden compartment. Troopers opened the hidden compartment and discovered 10 kilograms of cocaine destined for Dayton, Ohio. Troopers arrested Antonio MENDOZA of Chicago, Illinois and Roberto RUIZ-ROMAN of Madison, Wisconsin for possession with intent to distribute to cocaine. The case was turned over to the DEA Dayton Office for further investigation

The OSHP and DEA offices throughout Ohio have a response protocol established to assure that the seizures are handled quickly and that they maximize the investigation to identify and arrest the recipients of the drugs in Ohio and the out of state sources of supply. The DEA initiated a program called "Operation Pipeline" years ago and its results have been beyond what anyone in law enforcement had hoped to see. DEA regularly schedules training classes throughout the United States for members of State, County and Local law enforcement agencies to attend free of charge. Troopers, Deputies and Officers are provided the most up to date information on smuggling techniques, courier indicator checklists, and information on the latest drug trends. Over the years, this program has trained thousands of interdiction specialists who have made many of the most significant drug seizures throughout the United States. The OSHP routinely contacts DEA Task Force offices throughout Ohio so that these cases can be pursued to their fullest extent. The success of this interdiction program in Ohio is a direct result of the professional and tenacious Troopers that are members of the Ohio State Highway Patrol. DEA is grateful for their commitment and the commitment of all law enforcement agencies nationwide that support DEA's mission to reduce illegal drug availability.

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