Police investigate stabbing at Dayton park

Published: Friday, March 02, 2018 @ 11:00 PM

Police are investigating a report of a stabbing this evening at a local park that sent one man to a hospital.

The stabbing was reported around 5:30 p.m. at the park in the 1600 block of Wyoming Street.

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The victim, a 28-year-old man, was taken to Miami Valley Hospital, where his condition was not immediately available.

There’s no indication what led to the assault nor whether there were any arrests.

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour line, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com

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Amber Alert: 2 women in Warren County Jail; 4-year-old Sandusky boy found safe

Published: Friday, March 16, 2018 @ 8:26 PM
Updated: Saturday, March 17, 2018 @ 3:33 AM

Left: Jennifer Hemchak, 35 Right: Tamara Montalvo, 37
Left: Jennifer Hemchak, 35 Right: Tamara Montalvo, 37

UPDATE @ 3:10 a.m. (March 17)

Jennifer Hemchak, 35, and Tamara Montalvo, 37, were arrested in connection to the abduction of a 4-year-old boy in Sandusky that prompted a statewide Amber Alert Friday night.

The women are currently in custody in Warren County Jail.

Hamchak is the non-custodial parent of the boy, who was found safe.


A vigilant motorist helped authorities find a 4-year-old boy Friday night who was abducted Friday afternoon in Sandusky and was the subject of a statewide Amber Alert.

Police there said Jennifer Hemchak forcibly removed Q’Dai Hemchak from a car and sped away with him in a white 2015 Hyundai Sonata with Florida license plates.

Shortly after a statewide Amber Alert was issued tonight that described the vehicle, plate number and provided photos of the Hemchaks to mobile phones, a 911 caller reported spotting a car that matched the description on southbound Interstate 75. Troopers pulled over that car in Monroe in Warren County.

“If it wasn’t for the fact that the caller, regular citizen with a cellphone, called in, we probably wouldn’t have been able to locate that car, if not as quick or at all, if we hadn’t had that help from that citizen,” Sgt. Tom Bloomberg of the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s Lebanon Post said.

Jennifer Hemchak was arrested after she was found at 8:30 p.m. riding in the car. Another woman was driving the car, and she, too, was arrested.

Hemchak’s 12-year-old daughter also was in the car and was taken to the Lebanon Post to be reunited with her father, troopers said.

As for D’Quai, he was taken to Erie County Children Services and his father has been notified, according to the highway patrol.


An Amber Alert is in effect across Ohio after a 4-year-old boy was abducted Friday afternoon in Sandusky.

D’Quai Hemchak was “forcibly removed from a vehicle by Jennifer Ann Hemchak, a non-custodial parent.” The suspect then sped away in her car heading east, and the young boy is believed to be in “imminent danger.”

They are believed to be riding in a white 2015 Hyundai Sonata with Florida license plate IWU-M23 and police say she could be headed to Florida.

D’Qai is described as 3 feet tall, weighing 30 to 35 pounds with black hair and brown eyes.

Anyone with information is urged to call 911.

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Police: Explosive devices discovered in Florida man's pickup truck at Sonny's BBQ

Published: Saturday, March 17, 2018 @ 12:11 PM

Hargis Johnson
Lake County Jail
Hargis Johnson(Lake County Jail)

A 46-year-old man was arrested Friday in Florida after explosive devices were discovered in his pickup truck in the parking lot of a Sonny's BBQ restaurant, police said.

Police were called to the restaurant and encountered Hargis Johnson, Clermont police Officer Erin Razo told WFTV.

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"In the bed of the truck were several 5-gallon buckets filled with bottles of gasoline," Razo said. "The bottles had rags sticking out of them."

The restaurant was evacuated and a highway was closed temporarily, police said.

"The Lake County Sheriff's Office bomb squad responded to the scene in reference to the multiple explosive devices located in the suspect vehicle," Razo said. "Officers also located a 'zip gun' inside the vehicle."

Investigators said the devices were deemed safe by the bomb squad and the roads were reopened, WFTV reported. No one was injured.

Razo said police don’t know what Johnson had planned.

Johnson was booked into the Lake County Jail on two counts of making/possessing a destructive device and one count of carrying a concealed firearm.

The incident remains under investigation.

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Dark web fentanyl mailed within U.S. to Dayton address, feds say

Published: Saturday, March 17, 2018 @ 12:35 PM

            Government officials say 2-3 milligrams of fentanyl — shown next to a penny for reference — can be a fatal dose. Post office inspectors recently discovered 1,500 tablets of a fentanyl analogue addressed to a Dayton residence. DEA PHOTO
Government officials say 2-3 milligrams of fentanyl — shown next to a penny for reference — can be a fatal dose. Post office inspectors recently discovered 1,500 tablets of a fentanyl analogue addressed to a Dayton residence. DEA PHOTO

United States postal inspectors recently intercepted 1,500 tablets of a fentanyl analogue shipped to Dayton via the dark web, according to federal court documents.

Blue-colored methoxyacetyl fentanyl pills marked “V/4812” were found in a 9-ounce package mailed from Falmouth, Mass. to an address on Fer Don Road in north Dayton, according to a search warrant affidavit and return filed in Dayton’s U.S. District Court.

RELATED: Ohio gets more firepower in fentanyl fight

U.S. Postal Inspector Brad Dorman wrote that on Feb. 28, the Montgomery County RANGE task force said that a possible suspect was receiving shipments of narcotics through the mail.

Dorman wrote that a review of postal records showed that the Fer Don Road address had received several packages from Arizona, California and Colorado.

On March 6, the postal inspection service in Providence, R.I. notified officials that they had intercepted two parcels from a suspected dark web vendor, according to the affidavit.

RELATED: 2 men indicted for trafficking enough fentanyl to kill a million people

One was found to contain 101 oxycodone pills and the other Priority Mail Express parcel with a Feb. 28 postmark was to be shipped to Dayton, Dorman wrote.

According to the affidavit, the package was received in a Cincinnati’s post office March 7 but was not able to be canine-searched due to health concerns for the drug dog.

On March 12, a magistrate judge signed off on the search of the package and the tablets tested positive for methoxyacetyl fentanyl, which was classified as a Schedule I drug last year, according to a U.S. Drug Enforcement/U.S. Dept. of Justice website.

RELATED: China shipments help fuel local drug trade

The government web site said methoxyacetyl fentanyl and two other analogues have been identified in drug evidence and associated with fatal overdoses.

“These synthetic opioids have a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision,” the website stated.

This news organization is not naming the suspect because they have not had charges filed against them — unless that document has been sealed.

MORE: Read other stories from Mark Gokavi

On Friday, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Deputy Director Thomas Homan joined elected and law enforcement officials to announce that ICE Homeland Security Investigations special agents have trained more than 300 law enforcement personnel in Ohio this past week on dark web and illicit crypto-currency transactions associated with fentanyl smuggling.

RELATED: Drugs in the mail: Dangerous synthetic opioids ‘raised the stakes’

More than 560 people died from accidental overdoses in Montgomery County last year. Fentanyl, 100 times more potent than morphine and sometimes combined with other drugs, was responsible for the majority of those deaths.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Follow Mark Gokavi on Twitter or Facebook

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Your questions answered about the opioid epidemic

Published: Saturday, March 17, 2018 @ 9:50 AM

            Participants at the Your Voice Ohio opioid forum discuss their thoughts about the causes and solutions to the area’s drug epidemic at the downtown Dayton Metro Library, Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018. DOUG OPLINGER/Contributed
Participants at the Your Voice Ohio opioid forum discuss their thoughts about the causes and solutions to the area’s drug epidemic at the downtown Dayton Metro Library, Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018. DOUG OPLINGER/Contributed

Many who attended the recent forums on opioids held throughout the Miami Valley by Your Voice Ohio and this newspaper submitted questions about the epidemic. Here are some of the answers to those questions.

Q: How are the drugs coming into our country?

A variety of ways. Heroin may first enter the country through underground tunnels or in secret compartments hollowed out of car panels or welded into semi-trailer truck frames. At times, a dealer simply schedules a pickup with FedEx and plays the odds that a shipment will make it through.

Sometimes it comes in through a drug courier’s bowels, as mules are paid to carry balloons of heroin over the border on foot or through an airport.

Regardless of how it’s delivered, authorities say most of the heroin purchased in southwest Ohio — and in America today — is trafficked by violent criminal organizations based in one country: Mexico.

“To get a kilo of heroin in the Dayton area five years ago, that was a lot of heroin. Nowadays it’s not,” said Tim Plancon, assistant special agent in charge of DEA’s Ohio Columbus District Office.

Fentanyl — heroin’s more potent cousin, which is responsible for the large spike in deaths in the region seen in 2016 and 2017 — comes mainly through the mail from China.

Chinese authorities place little emphasis on controlling fentanyl production or export because the synthetic opioid is not widely used in China.

The fentanyl is sometimes difficult to trace because it arrives through a range of products that include fentanyl-laced counterfeit prescription drugs like oxycodone.

Authorities say Chinese chemical exporters get around U.S. laws by exploiting unregulated online ordering systems, mislabeling shipments, and modifying banned substances to create yet-illegal substances.

READ MORE: How Mexican drug cartels move heroin to Miam Valley street corners

Q: What are the true demographics of the addict population?

Final 2017 overdose numbers including demographic info on those who died aren’t available yet, but the 2016 numbers show the wide range of ages, races and cities affected by the epidemic.

In Montgomery County in 2016, the youngest to die was 2-year-old Lee Hays, who somehow got hold of fentanyl. The oldest was a 79-year-old man. Eighty percent were white; 64 percent were men. Dayton had the most deaths with 162, but people also overdosed and died in 20 other communities including Brookville, Clayton, Miamisburg, Oakwood and Washington Twp.

RELATED: 5 reasons why officials point to China in the deadly fentanyl pipeline

Q: Why is there not more focus on alternative medicines to opioids?

It has been shown that opioid addictions can start when undergoing treatment for short-term pain. Additionally, the use of opioids during short-term treatment has increased in the past few years.

To avoid the risk of addiction, researchers have explored using tylenol and ibuprofen for pain rather than opiates. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that on patients with broken bones and sprains, acetaminophen and ibuprofen worked as well as opioids at reducing severe pain.

The study notes that a pill combining ibuprofen and acetaminophen affects different pain receptors in the body, and can be highly effective. Pills that combine the two drugs are not yet available in the United States, and it’s also important to note that this study only looked at short-term pain relief in the emergency room.

Using ibuprofen and acetaminophen may not be ideal for long term use, according to Good Rx.

Q: What about medical marijuana?

While using marijuana to treat pain may have less mainstream approval than other treatments, a report by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine shows it can be effective in reducing neuropathic pain, a form of chronic pain that can cause damaged nerve endings.

Cannabinoids are seen by many doctors as actually “safer” than prescribing opioids, PBS reports. There are lower rates of addiction, and they don’t affect the brain stem. That means when using cannabis, your breathing and other basic life support functions are not affected, avoiding the risk of fatal overdoses.

Dr. Jordan Tishler, who handled emergency medicine at the Boston VA, states that most patients only need low doses of cannabis to treat chronic pain: “The amount they find relief with is nowhere near what laypeople recommend to each other or what recreational users take.”

Ohio’s medical marijuana program is set to launch later this year.

Q: How do people get hooked on opioids?

A 2013 study examining national-level general population heroin data — including those in and not in treatment — found that nearly 80 percent of heroin users reported using prescription opioids prior to heroin. We also know that roughly 21 to 29 percent of patients prescribed opioids for chronic pain misuse them.

When someone suffers from chronic pain, their body is constantly sending pain signals to their brain; which doesn’t allow their body to produce enough natural endorphins. At this point, a doctor would prescribe an opioid medication. Now the opioids and their natural endorphins can both land on their nerve receptors.

Next, the brain cells that have opioid receptors on them gradually become less responsive to the opioid stimulation. Once someone develops a tolerance, withdrawal symptoms begin to occur if a higher dosage is not given. Repeated exposure to escalating doses of opioids alters the brain so that it functions more or less normally when the drugs are present and abnormally when they are not. Therefore, even more opioid intake becomes necessary to produce pleasure comparable to that provided in any previous drug-taking episodes.

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