Member of alleged heroin, meth drug ring pleads guilty

Published: Monday, March 20, 2017 @ 5:46 PM

Jose Barajas
Jose Barajas

One of eight people indicted last summer by a Miami County grand jury as part of an alleged drug ring that law enforcement officials said imported large amounts of heroin and methamphetamine into the area pleaded guilty Monday, March 20, to four felony charges.

As part of a plea deal, a three-year prison term will be recommended for Jose Barajas, 37, whose address has been listed as both Huber Heights and Dayton. 

Four of those indicted were arrested in August while four others remain at large. The three others arrested along with Barajas are scheduled to enter pleas in their cases in county Common Pleas Court in the next two weeks.

Barajas pleaded guilty to one felony count each of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, conspiracy to engage in a pattern of corrupt of activity and two counts of aggravated financing of drug trafficking in incidents during 2013.

Judge Jeannine Pratt told Barajas she could sentence him to something other than the sentence recommended by prosecutors and the defense. With the charges involved, Barajas could face up to 41 years in prison and fines totaling $75,000 at sentencing May 2.

Defense lawyer Jack Hemm said he would file an affidavit of indigency for Barajas for waiver of the fines. Pratt also told Barajas that because he was not a United States citizen he could face deportation.

County Prosecutor Tony Kendell said following the hearing that he could not comment on the case until the charges against other defendants are resolved.

5 missing after Army helicopter reported down off coast of Hawaii

Published: Wednesday, August 16, 2017 @ 8:58 AM
Updated: Wednesday, August 16, 2017 @ 9:02 AM

5 Missing After Army Helicopter Reported Down Off Coast Of Hawaii

U.S. Coast Guard and Army officials were responding Wednesday morning to reports of a downed Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter off the coast of Hawaii.

>> Read more trending news

The helicopter had five crew on board when it reportedly went down, Coast Guard officials said. Officials spotted a debris field just before 11:30 p.m. local time Tuesday near Oahu’s Kaena Point.


Anthony Scaramucci out as White House communications director

Published: Monday, July 31, 2017 @ 2:44 PM
Updated: Monday, July 31, 2017 @ 3:16 PM

Anthony Scaramucci Resigns as White House Communications Director

Anthony Scaramucci has resigned from his position as White House communications director just days into his tenure, officials said Monday.

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"Mr. Scaramucci felt it was best to give Chief of Staff John Kelly a clean slate and the ability to build his own team," White House officials said in a statement. "We wish him all the best."

Big player in Dayton, big change in leadership

Published: Monday, August 14, 2017 @ 6:11 PM

            Brian Heitkamp is CityWide’s new president and CEO. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF
Brian Heitkamp is CityWide’s new president and CEO. CORNELIUS FROLIK / STAFF

CityWide, a nonprofit development group, has a new top executive for the first time in nearly 30 years, who takes over at a time when the organization is playing a larger role in community development and providing financing assistance for some major revitalization projects, such as the Dayton Arcade.

»RELATED: Dayton Arcade awarded $20 million in funding

Last month, CityWide’s board of trustees unanimously selected Brian Heitkamp, a 15-year veteran of the organization, to succeed retiring Steve Budd, who served as president since 1989.

Heitkamp, 41, started off as a commercial lending officer with CityWide and was promoted to economic development director and then chief operating officer.

»RELATED: CityWide eyeing new Tech Town building

The leadership of CityWide is noteworthy because the organization is the lead developer on some ambitious redevelopment projects and competes for multi-million dollar federal tax credit awards to help finance closely-watched proposals, such as the planned overhaul of the arcade, officials said.

“We provide solutions, and solutions can be a lot of different things, such as financing, consulting, advising or planning,” Heitkamp said.

4 teens ejected, 5 injured in I-70 rollover crash

Published: Monday, August 14, 2017 @ 12:14 AM
Updated: Monday, August 14, 2017 @ 9:00 AM

SCENE: Rollover crash on WB I-70

UPDATE @ 9 a.m.

State troopers said five teens suffered serious injuries, but all are expected to survive after a rollover crash on Interstate 70 in Clayton late Sunday. 

Investigators said the car, occupied by three 19-year-olds and two 15-year-olds, were on the Ohio 49 ramp to Interstate 70 when the driver, Jacob Freithe, 19, of Dayton, lost control and rolled the vehicle several times. 

Four of the car’s five occupants were ejected in the crash, according to state troopers. Four occupants were transported to Miami Valley Hospital and one was transported to Dayton Children’s Hospital for treatment of injuries. 

All injuries are believed to be serious, but none are believed to be life-threatening. 

Investigators said none of the five occupants were wearing seat belts at the time of the crash and excess speed is believed to be a factor.

State troopers cited Freithe with failure to maintain reasonable control. 

Additional details were not available. 

UPDATE @1:10 a.m.

Officials said five juveniles were injured, 2 critically, when a car rolled several times on westbound I-70 in Clayton late Sunday.

A car with five juveniles inside was going westbound on I-70 shortly before midnight when the driver lost control and veered off the right side of the highway. The car rolled several times, struck a tree and came to a rest on its top.

>> Dayton traffic from the WHIO traffic center

Two juveniles were taken to Miami Valley Hospital in critical condition. Three others were taken to another hospital.

All lanes are open.

>> Local news from the Miami Valley


A car is on its top in a crash that happened late Sunday on westbound Interstate 70 in Clayton.

There were at least two vehicles involved in the crash reported just before midnight at the 24 milepost off the Ohio 49 north ramp, according to initial reports.

At least five medic units were called to the scene, which also included Phillipsburg, Butler Twp. and Harrison Twp.