Fentanyl delivered through the mail

Published: Thursday, April 27, 2017 @ 5:30 PM

From January through March of this year, 154 people have been killed by Fentanyl in Montgomery County alone. The synthetic opiate claimed 251 lives in Montgomery County in 2016 due to accidental overdoses. As law enforcement struggles to fight the spread of addiction, News Center 7 has uncovered a new method of delivery criminals are using to get the powerful and illicit drug into every community in the Miami Valley: through the mail.

NOW WATCH: How does getting drugs through the mail work?

"Right now, the heroin epidemic: that consumes all of our time," says Montgomery County Sheriff's Office Captain Mike Brem. 

Brem leads the Montgomery County RANGE Task Force, the agency on the front-line of the fight against drugs in the Dayton-area. A News Center 7 crew rode along with RANGE as they served a search warrant at a suspected drug house in Dayton recently. They were looking for Fentanyl. Officers and deputies with the task force moved up to a home on Elsmere Avenue in Dayton with guns drawn and their search warrant in hand. They came out with four suspects in handcuffs and Fentanyl from inside the house. 

Mailboxes at vacant home is one of the new ways Fentanyl is getting into our area. 

"If you shut down all the mail service in America for a day, you'd shut down more than half of the drug trafficking in America," said Captain Brem.

Dayton Daily News reporter, Chris Stewart, has been covering the heroin epidemic for three years. 

"They (criminals) can order it right online and have it delivered to a vacant house like these here in this neighborhood," said Stewart. The drug can be shipped through the U.S. Postal Service without any of what's known as "advanced electronic data" -- things like: where the package is coming from, what's inside and who's shipping it. "That makes it easier for them to get Fentanyl through the system and to a house in Dayton," Stewart said.

MORE: Portman to re-introduce bill aimed at U.S. mail shipment of drugs

Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman has introduced new legislation to try and change that. 

"It comes in through the U.S. mail system, unbelievably, so we're trying to push back and make sure the post office requires that some of these evil scientists in China who are making this in a laboratory have to put on the package the information about where it's from, what's in it, where it's going and so on," said Portman. "According to Dayton law enforcement, and the customs and border protection people and the DEA, that will help them to identify those packages and keep some of that poison out of our communities."

Bill Brokschmidt is a recovering addict. He said he's lost count of the times he's overdosed. His drug addiction left him homeless. 

"I was living in my car, I had no gas," Brokschmidt said. "I couldn't drive it to a gas station."

Sober for 14 months, Brokschmidt now works with the Dayton-based group, Families of Addicts. He is helping people with a struggle he knows first-hand. 

Lori Erion runs the organization. 

NOW WATCH: WHIO Reports on drugs through the mail

"We give huge doses of hope," Erion said. "So a lot of hope, a lot of education and we do that by our weekly meetings and people who have been there, done that."

FOA's services are in high demand amid the Heroin and Fentanyl epidemics. 

"If we can save a couple people, I think that's worth the effort on all of our parts," said Brokschmidt.

"You say you can't win the war on drugs -- but we have to keep fighting the battle," Brem said. "That's the most important thing."

FOA and RANGE are just two of the agencies working to try and end this drug's death grip on the Miami Valley.

No fish tale: Centerville man catches 50-inch muskie

Published: Sunday, June 25, 2017 @ 9:05 PM

Cole Menker of Centerville caught a 50-inch muskellunge

Wow! That’s a big fish.

Centerville resident Cole Menker caught this 50-inch muskellunge “muskie” Saturday morning at Caesar Creek State Park in Warren County.

“Haven’t caught a lot of musk in my life but he looks like he’s a high 40,” Menker said in a Facebook video on his page before catching the fish on an eight-pound line.

Menker was fishing with his brother C.J. Menker on their late mother’s birthday.

“She must have thrown one down from heaven,” Cole Menker said in his social media post.

The brothers have been fishing and hunting since they were young. On Saturday, they were practicing for an upcoming Mid-Ohio Saugeye Trail fish tournament when the muskie, a type of Pike, caught Menker’s hook.

After posing for pictures, Menker threw the fish back into the water.

Air Show thrills crowd despite Thunderbirds cancellation

Published: Sunday, June 25, 2017 @ 11:49 AM
Updated: Sunday, June 25, 2017 @ 4:39 PM

Spectators came out in hoards for the 2017 Vectren Dayton Air Show on Sunday, despite a performance schedule cut short after the cancellation of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds act.

While Thunderbirds did not fly Sunday, the 2017 show featured 10 other performances, air show organizers said — drawing large crowds under cloudless, blue skies on both Saturday and Sunday.

Plans for a jam-packed schedule, highlighted by several military acts, took a turn when a two-seat F-16 Thunderbird jet overturned at the airport after landing Friday. The mishap trapped the pilot and passenger until they were freed by first responders hours later. Both were hospitalized and reported in good condition. One team member has been released.

» RELATED: Thunderbirds will not perform Sunday at Vectren Dayton Air Show

The top attractions instead included a U.S. Air Force F-35 Heritage Flight and U.S. Navy F-18 Super Hornet demonstration along with Sean Tucker, Misty Blues All Woman Skydiving Team, GEICO Skytypers, Redline Airshows, Rob Holland Ultimate Air Shows, Suzuki Aerosports and a commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the famous Doolittle Raid.

Thunderbirds Capt. Erik Gonsalves remains a patient at Miami Valley Hospital after he was extricated from an F-16 that overturned on the runway Friday at the Dayton International Airport. Gonsalves Tweeted Saturday a picture of himself in the hospital bed stating, “Thanks for all the love and support. I’m doing okay. More to follow, I’m thankful for all our friendships.”

Aviation Director Terrence Slaybaugh said while he was disappointed by the Thunderbird’s absence, the top priority of the airport was ensuring the safety of the crowds and the performers.

“We’re obviously very disappointed they won’t fly,” he said. “We’ll get through it.”

» RELATED: Former F-16 pilot says wind likely factor in flip over

Slaybaugh said the mishap was a “best-case scenario,” with a quick response from emergency teams and no fatalities. The airport will work “arm in arm” with the military during its investigation into the accident. The Thunderbirds remained grounded for the entirety of the air show, aggravating some spectators.

Carol Shaw drove nearly three hours from her home in Coshocton, Ohio, to watch the Vectren Dayton Air Show on Sunday. She said she was shocked to hear about the cancellation of the Thunderbirds performance, but would’ve come to the show regardless.

“I have to say I’m a little disappointed, but we’ve been coming here probably 20 years,” she said. “We like it better than the Cleveland air show.”

» RELATED: In close formation, reporter rides in squadron of vintage war planes

Chris Bruening, a Beavercreek resident, sat in a lawn chair and awaited the start of the performances. He attended the air show throughout childhood, and said he was particularly interested in seeing the pilots of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter take to the sky.

“The crowd does seem smaller this year,” he said.

Tens of thousands typically show up for the air show each year, however attendance records won’t be released until Monday. In 2016, an estimated 51,000 vistors came to watch aerial performances at the Dayton airport, and officials said attendance was impacted by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels cancellation. The Blue Angels did not perform last year after a fatal crash in Tennessee.

Bill Mangas, medical operations manager for the air show, said his team saw fewer medical emergencies this year compared to 2016. On Saturday, the team treated 17 patients and sent one to a local hospital. On Sunday, the team treated an estimated 36 patients by 3 p.m., and sent three of them to local hospitals. Mangas attributed the decline in medical emergencies to cooler temperatures.

“The breeze was definitely a life-saver,” he said.

» RELATED: What to eat and drink before or after Dayton Air Show

Highlights of the show included daring acts by the F-18 Super Hornet and the Redline aerobatic flight duo. Sean D. Tucker, who thrilled the crowd with his tight maneuvers and excessive speed, pulled G-force after G-force and talked through the speakers to the air show crowd.

This could very well be one of Tucker’s last solo appearances at the Dayton Air Show. Tucker, who flies the single-seat, 400-horsepower Oracle Challenger III biplane, said he will retire from solo flying after the 2018 air show season. He hopes to find a sponsor to launch a formation flying team as his next chapter in aviation takes center stage.

“I love Dayton, and I love sky dancing,” he shouted from the cockpit of his spinning aircraft.

2 hurt in single-vehicle crash in Randolph Co., Ind.

Published: Sunday, June 25, 2017 @ 1:25 PM

Two people were transported to the hospital this morning from a single-vehicle crash on County Line Road in Randolph County, Ind. 

Redkey firefighters, Jay County deputies and medics as well as Dunkirk police assisted Randolph County deputies at the crash at 6:27 a.m., according to a police news release.

It appeared a 1991 Ford Probe traveling south on County Road 1150 West went off the roadway and struck a tree, according to the release.

Police identified the driver as Dustin Louck, 38, and the passenger Heather Louck, 35, both of Redkey, Ind. 

Both were taken to Ball Memorial Hospital for treatment of injuries. Their conditions were not available Sunday afternoon.

The crash remains under investigation.

WATCH HIGHLIGHTS: Saturday at the Vectren Dayton Air Show

Published: Saturday, June 24, 2017 @ 11:05 AM
Updated: Saturday, June 24, 2017 @ 1:56 PM

The flying acts for the 2017 Dayton Vectren Air Show have wrapped up for Saturday. Gates for Saturday’s show will close at 6 p.m. Below you can watch video highlights from Saturday’s show. Gates will reopen on Sunday at 9 a.m.

>>Dayton Air Show: What we know today

>> Photos from Saturday at the Dayton Air Show

Saturday’s line-up included flights from the following acts and others:

  • Suzuki Extra 300 
  • B-25 Doolittle Raid Commemoration 
  • Geico Skytypers 
  • Sean Tucker 
  • Misty Blues 
  • F-18 Super Hornet

The Thunderbirds cancelled their Saturday flight following a crash during a practice flight on Friday afternoon.  It will be determined later if the group will fly Sunday.

RELATED: 1 of 2 Thunderbirds pilots released following crash at air show

MORE: Eyewitness describes Thunderbird crash

UPDATE @ 2:50 p.m.:

Live flights at today’s air show have concluded.

UPDATE @ 2:38 p.m.:

Redline 1440 is taking to the sky now at the Dayton Air Show.

UPDATE @ 2:30 p.m.:

The F-18 Super Hornet is performing now and will be followed by a performance by Redline 1440.

UPDATE @ 2:06 p.m.:

The Misty Blues are now flying at today’s show.

RELATED: Dayton Air Show: What to know about Dayton’s biggest air spectacle

UPDATE @ 1:51 p.m.:

Sean Tucker is now in the air at today’s air show performing air acrobatics for the crowd.

UPDATE @ 1:31 p.m.:

The Geico Skytypers are taking flight now.  Earlier this week, Dayton Daily News reporter Kara Driscoll flew with the team.

WATCH: In close formation, reporter rides in squadron of vintage war planes

UPDATE @ 1:12 p.m.:

The P-51 is currently performing a solo flight for the audience at the Dayton International Airport. The F-35 is up next for the Heritage Flight.

UPDATE @ 12:50 p.m.:

A B-25 Dolittle Raid Commemoration is getting underway right now.

RELATED: Crowds swarm AF museum as B-25s arrive to honor Doolittle Raiders

UPDATE @ 12:30 p.m.:

The T-50 jet gave the crowd a demonstration this afternoon and was soon followed by an aerial performance from Rob Holland.

UPDATE @ 12:11 p.m.:

Suzuki Extra 300 has taken to the sky at the 2017 Vectren Dayton Air Show.

UPDATE @ 12:03 p.m.:

Redline, a two plane act, performed a brief teaser for the crowd ahead of their mid-afternoon performance.

UPDATE @ 11:54 a.m.:

The Misty Blues are parachuting in to begin the 2017 Vectren Dayton Air Show. MSgt Alyson Jones is performing the national anthem.

UPDATE @ 11:22 a.m.:

News Center 7’s Caroline Reinwald spent some time this morning, before the air show begins talking with the Geico Skytypers.