Area heroin deaths double in 2012

Published: Friday, March 01, 2013 @ 12:00 AM
Updated: Friday, March 01, 2013 @ 12:00 AM


            Numbers show the rise in indictments for heroin over the past 10 years in Montgomery County.
            Lopez, Steve (CMG-WestPalm)
Numbers show the rise in indictments for heroin over the past 10 years in Montgomery County.(Lopez, Steve (CMG-WestPalm))

Dayton heroin treatment clinics

Project CURE

  • Location: 1800 N. James H. McGee Blvd.
  • Includes treatment for heroin addiction

The Crosspoints methadone clinic

  • Location: 732 S. Ludlow Street
  • This is on hold after Gov. John Kasich signed House Bill 303 into law. The bill prevents such clinics within 500 feet of a school. Chaminade Julienne High School is within that area.

The Veterans Administration operates a federally regulated methadone program

  • Location: VA Hospital campus on West Third Street

Heroin has tightened its grip on Southwest Ohio creating a surge in overdose deaths and doubling seizures of the drug during the past year. Criminal heroin indictments also are rising.

Authorities say Dayton is a heroin hub featuring cheap prices and a meeting place for dealers to distribute the drug to suburbs and smaller towns. The greater Dayton region has seen at least 281 people die from heroin-involved overdoses in less than five years.

“We see it a lot more than we used to,” said Miami Twp. police Det. Michael Siney, adding that ‘caps’ can be as cheap as $5 to $10. “You used to see the marijuana and the occasional crack and pills and stuff like that, but now it’s heroin, heroin, heroin, heroin.”w

Numbers tell part of the story.

  • The Ohio State Highway Patrol seized 34,953 grams of heroin in 2012, more than double the 16,511 grams seized in 2011 and 4.5 times more than the 2009 total of 7,780. In January of 2013, 5,514 grams were seized, more than an 8,000 percent increase from January 2012.
  • The Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office said the number of indicted heroin cases jumped from 306 in 2010 to 356 in 2011 to 412 in 2012.
  • The number of drug overdose deaths involving heroin seen by the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office shows the increasing toll of those who paid the ultimate price for their addiction. Heroin-related deaths in the multi-county area have risen from 50 in 2011 to 92 in 11 months of 2012, with December’s numbers yet to be calculated.

“When we can go from 50 (dead) in 2011 to close to 100 in 2012,” Montgomery County Coroner Ken Betz said. “I think that clearly indicates what an epidemic heroin is in our community.”

An anonymous participant in the latest Ohio Substance Abuse Monitoring Network report on the Dayton region takes it a step further: “It’s more than an epidemic. It’s a plague. It’s eating away at people.”

NO QUALITY CONTROL

The Dayton report released in June 2012 indicates heroin availability is a 10 on a scale of 0 to 10 while quality can be as high as an 8. But sometimes, the quality is low, and the inconsistency can lead to death.

“Some is like zero purity, some of overdoses are related to too high of purity. It really is pretty much all over the board,” said Miamisburg police Chief John Sedlak, who added that heroin was booked into his evidence room eight times in 2009 but 51 times in 2011. “They’ll usually cut it with any damn thing they can cut it with. Sometimes it’s stuff that won’t essentially hurt you on a single dose and other times it could kill you.”

The Substance Abuse report said the brown powder heroin popular in this region can be cut with baby formula, bouillon cubes, coffee, dog food, green tea tablets, Ramen noodle flavor packets and vitamins, which lowers the purity and thus the danger.

Betz said his office finds people who died of overdoses — two-thirds of whom are male, with a 7-to-1 ratio of whites to blacks — did so nearly instantly after injecting higher-quality heroin.

“When the needle is still there and the paraphernalia is still there and the cooking spoon is still there …” Betz said. “The purity of heroin has been excellent, in a sense, high quality on these overdoses.”

A participant in the Substance Abuse report added: “You never hear of an old heroin addict. They’re either dead, in prison, or quit.”

PRESCRIPTION CRACKDOWN

The Ohio State Highway Patrol has made seizing drugs a higher priority the past couple years. Lt. Anne Ralston said that included enforcement aimed at so-called ‘pill-mills’ that push opiate-based prescription medications. Overall patrol drug arrests were up 24 percent in 2012 from 2011. In the first month of January 2013, the patrol has seized 148 percent more opiate-based prescription pills than in January 2012 (9,000 dosage units compared to 3,629).

As more pills get seized, some users turn to heroin, which is cheaper and can provide a similar experience.

“Heroin is opium,” Ralston said. “People who are addicted to prescription pain killers – the Oxycontins, the Oxycodones – those are opiate-based prescription medications and we have a problem with pills here in Ohio as well and have taken steps to crack down on that.”

In the OSHP’s Piqua district — Montgomery, Preble, Greene, Clark and other counties north of Dayton, there was a 531 percent increase in heroin seizures in 2012 from 2011. In the Wilmington district — Warren, Butler, Clinton and other counties south of Dayton, there was a 7,217 percent increase in heroin seizures in 2012 from 2011.

“That opiate addiction is so strong that if they can’t get the pills, then they’re going to go to the heroin,” said Ralston, who admits the patrol likely is only catching a small percentage of drugs. “It’s an ongoing battle on many fronts.”

CRIME CONCERNS

Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr. reported that in the past five years the number of convictions for heroin has grown by 40 percent.

“With the steady rise in prescription drug abuse, we have also seen a corresponding rise in the use of heroin, due to its cheaper street price and availability,” Heck said. “We see the devastating effects of heroin use, from ruined lives to overdose deaths. Heroin remains a growing problem in our community.”

Sedlak said Miamisburg police can tell when known drug-related criminals are incarcerated or out since crime fluctuates. “It’s considerable because when you’re fighting the heroin thing, you’re not just fighting pushers coming into your area and resellers and users,” Sedlak said. “You’re fighting a lot of crime that is completely associated with it.”

Siney said Miami Twp. police see the same thing.

“A lot of the heroin addicts are the ones coming over and stealing in the mall, stealing at Walmart, Target and retail (stores) to make money to get their fix,” Siney said. “A lot of them we stop with needles on them,” he said, adding that needles have become the No. 1 criminal drug possession tool.

HIGH AVAILABILITY

One anonymous user from the Ohio Substance Abuse Monitoring Network document said free “testers” of heroin are so prevalent that “you can’t even really drive through Dayton and sit at a (traffic) light without somebody going, ‘Testers. Tester. We got free testers.’ Throwing them in your car, like here, ‘Just get high and come to me.’ ”

“I mean it’s right there. Even if you weren’t a heroin addict, you know what I mean, you’re gonna want to do it because it’s free, and it’s just right in your face.”

Dayton police Lt. Joe Wiesman said heroin has become “the drug of choice” in Dayton and that police haven’t seen the free testers, but he would not be surprised.

“I’m sure that that probably does happen, just like Sam’s Club gives out samples,” Wiesman said. “It’s one of those things that they could give you a little to get you to come back and buy a lot, to them it’s just smart business.”

In Greene County, ACE Task Force Commander Bruce May said heroin houses have popped up in the past few years and that heroin has climbed the list of illicit drug users, with heroin and pills gaining on marijuana and crack cocaine.

The high availability makes it hard for probationers to turn it down, according to Greene County Adult Probation Director Melissa Litteral. “Heroin is a huge problem right now,” said Litteral, noting that 208 people in her probation program tested positive for heroin in 2012. From Jan. 1 to Feb. 11 of 2013, another 25 Greene County probationers tested positive for heroin.

“We have to get these people help,” Siney said. “I’ve dealt with it in my family. It’s hard, even when you seek it out, to get somebody help.”

Multiple people reportedly shot in Baltimore business park

Published: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 @ 10:32 AM

Three killed in Maryland shooting

Published: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 @ 11:27 AM

A Maryland sheriff says three people were killed after a shooting at business park, Wednesday morning, according to the Associated Press. 

Two others were wounded and authorities are searching for the suspect.

Springfield double murder suspect indicted

Published: Wednesday, October 04, 2017 @ 10:23 PM
Updated: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 @ 10:25 AM

Springfield police are asking for the public's help in finding Kyle Xavier Bonaparte, who is accused of shooting and killing two people last week. (Contributed Photo/Springfield Police)
Springfield police are asking for the public's help in finding Kyle Xavier Bonaparte, who is accused of shooting and killing two people last week. (Contributed Photo/Springfield Police)

UPDATE @ 10:25 a.m. (Oct. 18):

A Springfield man accused of killing two people at an apartment complex has been indicted by the Clark County Grand Jury.

Kyle X. Bonaparte, 20, faces three counts of murder and another count of tampering evidence. He was indicted by the grand jury on Monday.

Bonaparte is accused of killing Joshua Brown, 26, who died after he was shot multiple times at an apartment in the 1300 block of Delta Road on Oct. 4.

Another person, Raina Beal, 23, died after she was shot in the head at the same apartment, according to investigators.

RELATED: Springfield man killed in shooting protecting friend, dad says

Police have issued a warrant for Bonaparte — who is still at-large — in connection with the deaths of Beal and Brown.

Brown allegedly told police Bonaparte shot him prior to being transported to Springfield Regional Medical Center, according to court records. He later died at the hospital.

A witness later told police she and the two victims had been inside the apartment most of the day. A man named “Chiraq” knocked on the door and entered the apartment with another man named “Packy,” the court records say.

UPDATE @ 3:35 p.m. (Oct. 11): The second victim of a Springfield double shooting has died, according to police. 

The victim is Raina Beal, 23. 

The police division is asking for the public’s help in locating Kyle Xavier Bonaparte, 20, who is wanted in the deaths of Beal and Joshua Brown. 

Bonaparte is described as 5 feet 8 inches tall, black, and about 150 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes. 

Police Capt. Michael Varner said anyone who might be helping Bonaparte could be charged as well. 

Anyone with information is asked to call the police division at 937-324-7685.

UPDATE @ 7 p.m. (Oct. 5)

A woman hit by gunfire in a double shooting Wednesday night that left one man dead has been identified.

Raina Beal, 23, was shot in the head inside the Delta Road apartment, Springfield police Capt. Michael Varner said.

Beal was shot multiple times, according to a police report. She was flown to Miami Valley Hospital, where tonight she remained in critical condition.

The shooting led to the death of Joshua Brown, 26, according to the Clark County Coroner’s Office.

UPDATE @ 2 p.m. (Oct. 5)

A man shot in the chest Wednesday night inside a Delta Road apartment complex has died.

He is Joshua Brown, 26, according to the Clark County Coroner’s Office. Brown and a woman were shot, but the woman’s name and condition have not been released.

Springfield police investigate a double shooting Oct. 4, 2017, in an apartment on Delta Road.(ERIC HIGGENBOTHAM / STAFF)

FIRST REPORT

Two people were taken to Miami Valley Hospital via CareFlight on Wednesday night after they were shot in a Springfield apartment, according to dispatch. 

TRENDING: Person-of-interest is in custody in shooting of teenager in downtown Dayton 

A man and woman were shot around 10 p.m. in an apartment in the 1400 block of Delta Road.

RELATED: Deputies: Bystander shot, ‘heavy exchange’ of gunfire outside Clark County bar

One person was shot in the head, the other in the chest. The victims initially were taken to Springfield Regional Medical Center. There was no word on their conditions.

Champaign County deputies find 29 pounds of marijuana after shooting

Published: Tuesday, October 17, 2017 @ 3:57 PM

Gunfire triggered a series of events Tuesday that led Champaign County deputies to 29 pounds of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and two handguns, according to the sheriff’s office.

Gunfire triggered a series of events Tuesday that led Champaign County deputies to 29 pounds of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and two handguns, according to the sheriff’s office.

Donald Murnahan, 26, and Angela Easterday, 34, were arrested and face numerous drug-related charges, including trafficking. They were booked into Tri-County Jail on Tuesday.

READ: Springfield man allegedly beaten with bricks near bike path

Champaign County deputies responded to a motel in the 2500 block of U.S. 68 south of Urbana for a report that a woman was shooting at a car. When they got there, they allegedly found Murnahan driving a car on West Hickory Grove Road.

“The investigation revealed Murnahan had removed drugs and money from a room he and Easterday had been staying at within the lodge complex,” a news release says. “As Murnahan was attempting to leave the lodge, Easterday reportedly fired a round from a .380 pistol, striking a tire on the vehicle Murnahan was operating.”

When they investigated, they allegedly found the drugs and guns in the car, as well as scales and grinders.

EXTRA: Springfield man charged, alleged woman put sugar in gas tank

Easterday is charged with trafficking drugs in the vicinity of juveniles, possession of weapons while under disability, possession of marijuana and possession of criminal tools.

Murnahan is charged with trafficking drugs in the vicinity of juveniles, possession of marijuana, tampering with evidence and possession of criminal tools.

More charges may be presented to a grand jury soon, the news release says.