Area heroin deaths double in 2012

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

            Area heroin deaths double in 2012

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.”


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.”


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.”


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.


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.”

Hamilton man suspect in multi-county fishing lure thefts

Published: Monday, February 27, 2017 @ 5:24 PM

            Hamilton man suspect in multi-county fishing lure thefts

A Hamilton man accused of stealing more than $1,000 in fishing lures from the Lebanon WalMart remained in the Middletown jail on Monday.

MORE: Stolen car used in WalMart theft involved in three-county chase

Derrick E. Marcum Jr. , 27, was indicted in Warren County on a theft charge alleging he took all the lures in the store and tried to conceal them in a storage container he scanned in the self-service checkout line on Oct. 20, according to Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Follow Lawrence Budd on Twitter.

He was charged on Nov. 9 in Lebanon Municipal Court.


Marcum is under investigation “for doing the exact same thing” in Hamilton and Butler counties, according to Fornshell.

MORE: Sentencing in mult-state Rogaine thefts

Marcum was being held in the Middletown jail and is scheduled for arraignment on March 1 in Warren County Common Pleas Court in Lebanon.

Warren County man accused of assaulting 1-year-old

Published: Monday, February 27, 2017 @ 4:36 PM

            Warren County man accused of assaulting 1-year-old

A Warren County man is charged with assaulting a 1-year-old girl he was giving a bath.

The infant apparently suffered head injuries in the incident on Feb. 14 at a duplex in Morrow, according to court records.

MORE: Boyfriend charged with 2-year-old’s murder

Tyler Ward, 22, remained in the county jail Monday on $250,000 bond, charged with felonious assault and child endangering, according to court and jail records.

MORE: 15-week-old dies at homeless shelter

According to an affidavit, Morrow police and the Salem Twp. Fire Department were dispatched at 3:22 p.m. on Feb 14 to the duplex in the 300 block of Second Street in Morrow about an infant that had stopped, but resumed, breathing.

Ward told a 911 operator the 1-year-old was in the tub for 30 seconds. He led emergency workers into the duplex where they found the mother holding the infant, throwing up a clear liquid, on the bed.

MORE: Father convicted of assaulting infant son

Ward said he was bathing the infant when she defecated in the tub. Ward said he went for a towel to clean up the tub and found the girl face down and not breathing.


A hospital examination showed the child had head injuries indicating she had been assaulted. At the hospital, the mother was observed texting Ward to warn him “not to say anything,” according to an affidavit filed in Warren County Common Pleas Court.

Investigators seized a blanket, outfit, comforter and pillow cases, as well as a cellphone, pipes, grinders and several types of capsules, according to an inventory of property taken in a search.

Ward is scheduled to appear at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday in Warren County Court. His lawyer could not be reached Monday.

Police arrest suspect in fatal shooting at Trotwood apartment

Published: Monday, February 27, 2017 @ 12:44 PM
Updated: Monday, February 27, 2017 @ 12:42 PM

UPDATE @ 4:05 p.m.

A shooting this afternoon at an apartment in Trotwood has turned fatal, and police have a suspect in custody.

Trotwood Police Chief Erik Wilson said the victim, a 24-year-old male, was shot multiple times and died of his injuries.

Police tracked down the suspected shooter, a 23-year-old male. Wilson said the two men have children by the same woman.

The children were inside the apartment when the shooting happened. An adult female who is related to the children’s mother was also there, Wilson said.

Police are still working to determine what led to the shooting.

Further details have not been released. 

UPDATE @ 1:10 p.m.

One person was shot inside an apartment in the 5500 block of Autumn Wood Drive and officers are looking for the shooter, according to Police Chief Erik Wilson.

The male victim was taken to the hospital. The severity of injuries and his condition were not immediately available.

Crime scene tape was up blocking entrance to the apartment where the shooting occurred.

The shooter is believed to be a male, Wilson said.

Further details are expected to be released later today.


We have reports of several shots fired in the 5500 block of Autumn Woods Drive in Trotwood. We have a photographer on the way, and we’ll bring you the latest information as it becomes available. 


Troopers: Huber Heights man fled moving car, died in drainage pipe

Published: Monday, February 27, 2017 @ 5:01 PM

            Troopers: Huber Heights man fled moving car, died in drainage pipe

A Huber Heights man’s vehicle was still rolling when he fled the scene of a rural southeast Ohio crash, hid in a drainage culvert and died, Ohio State Highway Patrol said Monday.

Chuck Dickens Jr., 26, of Huber Heights, died Sunday in Belmont County, Ohio, near West Virginia, after refusing to come out of the drainage culvert where police discovered him, OSP Lt. James Faunda said.

There are few details on why Dickens, who formerly attended Chaminade-Julienne High School, ran from the car. An investigation into Dickens’ social media accounts — including a series of Facebook posts made on his personal page around the time of the crash — is ongoing, Faunda said.

MORE: Read more crime stories

“The only thing we know is his family thought he was in Cleveland for the weekend,” Faunda said. “There was no reason for him to be here.”

Dickens side-swiped another vehicle Sunday morning on Interstate 70 near mile marker 211, jumped from the vehicle before it came to a stop and ran across the highway and down a steep hill to a drainage culvert, police said.

Troopers tried to find Dickens using an airplane and additional police backup. It wasn’t until a trooper suggested calling for Dickens in a drainage culvert they discovered he crawled 200-300 feet inside. Dickens responded to police at first, but eventually stopped communicating.

MORE: Huber home linked to prosecutor’s theft

Police sent a robot with a video camera into the culvert and discovered him face down in water, Faunda said. A West Virginia dive squad removed his body and he was declared dead on scene. His body was taken to Licking County for a medical examination and toxicology screen. OSP is conducting its own blood tests, as well.

Faunda, a 24-year veteran of the state patrol, said Dickens appeared to be an “outstanding citizen” with no criminal history aside from a traffic violation.

“I’ve never seen anything like this where a person didn’t have a reason to run,” he said.