Youngstown supplied multi-million dollar Lawrence County heroin - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Bond set at $250,000

Youngstown supplied multi-million dollar Lawrence County heroin ring

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Authorities have rounded up ten people they say are part of an organization that has distributed an estimated three to six million dollars worth of heroin in Lawrence County over the past year.

Lawrence County District Attorney Josh Lamancusa announced on Tuesday that agents from the  New Castle Police department, the Drug Task Force and other agencies searched four homes earlier that morning as part if an investigation into the Schmidt heroin organization. 

Agents arrested Mike Schmidt Sr., who they describe as the ringleader of the criminal enterprise.  Eight other adults, and one juvenile were also arrested. Two other adults were still being sought.

"The Schmidt organization is believed to be, by far, the single largest heroin distributor in Lawrence County.  And, at it's height, it was distributing over one kilo of heroin per week," said Lamancusa.

He said that at the Schmidt home, authorities found $40,000 worth of heroin and $43,000 in cash.

Investigators also confiscated four cars, three firearms, and tens of thousands of dollars worth of clothing, shoes, shoes and hats, which Lamancusa says was purchased with money from the drug trade.

Schmidt Sr., faces 17 charges including operating a corrupt organization, conspiracy to deliver heroin, corruption of minors, and soliciting minors in a drug free school zone.

Lamancusa tells 21 News that the heroin allegedly distributed by the Schmidt organization came from Youngstown.

"In some instances, the actual dealers from Youngstown, given the volume that this organization was doing, would actually come to New Castle and bring the drugs. They had the benefit of being big customers, so the supplier came here," said Lamancusa.

The investigation began in June of last year.

Lamancusa says the heroin epidemic is the number one problem in Lawrence County. He notes that there were 33 heroin overdoses in the county over the past year.

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