Local impact of Dayton area fentanyl drug bust - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Local impact of Dayton area fentanyl drug bust

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Drug task force agents outside of Dayton, Ohio, uncover enough fentanyl to kill almost four million people.

A series of traffic stops lead to the discovery of 20 pounds of fentanyl Monday night in Carlisle, Ohio. All but one of the four men arrested are from Mexico.

"That's quite a bit of fentanyl and that's enough to pretty much wipe a town out at least, if not the Valley," said Sgt. Larry Mclaughlin, commander of the Mahoning County Law Enforcement Task Force.

The fentanyl found is estimated to have a street value of $3.6 million. 

Mclaughlin says Mahoning County agents seized large quantities of fentanyl last year, but nothing to the magnitude of what was found in southern Ohio this week.

This year, he says cocaine is making a comeback- anticipated to triple the normal amount of grams recovered in a year within just the first half of 2018.

"I think that has a lot to do with a lot of our 90's crack convicted subjects are being released from prison, they're coming back to what they know," Mclaughlin said.

He says the legal repercussions of getting caught selling opioids and the possibility of facing murder charges in an overdose death may also have something to do with the decrease in the amount of heroin and fentanyl his task force is finding.

Local law enforcement has no doubt that the fentanyl found near Dayton, or a stash like it, would have eventually made its way up to the Mahoning Valley.

"I think that's just indicative of the fact that the dope is coming through Ohio," said Lt. Jeffery Greene, who oversees the office of special operations at the Warren Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

He says highways including Interstate 80, 90, 70, 71, 75, 77 are all the routes in which the drug trade can funnel its product.

In Trumbull County, Greene says the patrol has made Kelo-size seizures of opioids in recent months. He can't comment further on the specific drugs found or how much, but he says opioids including fentanyl, cartfentanyl, and heroin has been found.

Greene says it's important that the drugs found near Dayton were taken off the streets and that local and statewide law enforcement agencies are working together to fight the epidemic.

Finding an end to the epidemic is hard for local law enforcement to envision. 

Mclaughlin says the supply chain coming into the United States is the biggest hurdle that law enforcement in Ohio can't control.

"It's supply and demand at the end of the day," he said. "Whatever is selling is what's going to be pushed across the border." 

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