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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.

Cincinnati State to tap beer brewing degree

Published: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 10:01 AM


            John Loftis holds up a glass of Mother Stewart’s beer to the light in their brew house in Springfield. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Cincinnati State will announce the launch of the region’s first degree in brewing science today.

Cincinnati State and leaders of the local craft beer and brewing industry will make the announcement at 10:30 a.m. today about the Associate of Applied Science Degree in Brewing degree.

RELATED: New microbrewery, taproom coming to Butler County

Employers in the fast-growing craft beer industry say the new degree will help close the skill gap and accelerate Cincinnati’s growing reputation as a “bastion of brewing.”

It is the first two-year Brewing Science degree program in Ohio, Kentucky or Indiana and was designed with extensive input brewing industry leaders, university leaders said.

RELATED: New Middletown brewery aims to bridge beer towns of Cincinnati, Dayton

Those expected at the announcement include: Monica Posey, president of Cincinnati State, Chef Alan Neace, Associate Dean of Midwest Culinary Institute, Carla Gesell-Streeter, program chair for Brewing Science program, brewing student Ryan Osner, a veteran and employee at Rhinegeist, area brewing industry leaders, area chambers of commerce and state and local officials.

Blown tire sends truck hauling trailer off I-675 South

Published: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 9:54 AM



Jarod Thrush

No one was seriously injured when a pickup truck hauling a trailer full of lawnmowers crashed on I-675 South this morning.

Southbound traffic was slowed at 8:30 a.m. around the Yankee Street exit as Washington Twp. crews responded to the scene.

Officials tell us the full-size pickup truck blew a tire and the driver lost control, careening off the right side of the highway where the trailer overturned.

Crews cut the top off of the trailer to gain access to the lawnmowing cargo. Firefighters worked to contain the gasoline that was leaking from the equipment.

One person suffered a minor injury and was treated at the scene, according to officials at the scene. 

Local firefighters applaud signing of cancer bill into law

Published: Thursday, January 05, 2017 @ 2:59 PM


            Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed Senate Bill 27, now known as the “Michael Louis Palumbo Jr. Act,” into law Jan. 4. It allows firefighters who have cancer to file claims with the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation. Pictured are firefighters from various Butler County jurisdictions during a training exercise last spring. STAFF FILE/2016

A bill that would help firefighters diagnosed with certain types of cancer as a result of their job has been signed into law.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich signed Senate Bill 27, now known as the “Michael Louis Palumbo Jr. Act,” into law Wednesday. It allows firefighters who have cancer to file claims with the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation.

More than 30 states already have similar laws.

“An untold amount of time and hard work has gone into making this law a reality,” Tony Harris, president of the Hamilton Local IAFF 20, told the Journal-News. “It is appropriate that Gov. Kasich is giving this law the attention it deserves by signing it surrounded by firefighters that it will help protect.”

Research has shown fire personnel are much more likely than the general population to get some forms of cancer. A recent study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health found that about 68 percent of firefighters get cancer, compared to 22 percent of the general public, regardless of race or gender.

In the course of their work, firefighters are exposed to many cancer-causing materials, such as asbestos, according to Doug Stern of the Ohio Professional Fire Fighters.

“…We’re exposed to a toxic soup of chemicals and combustion byproducts linked to cancer,” Stern previously told the Journal-News. “The reality is many of our friends and colleagues are dying with their boots off, and contracting occupationally related cancers far too young of an age with more aggressive types of cancers.”

The law is named after Palumbo, a Cleveland-area fire captain who is battling an aggressive form of brain cancer. He was at the bill signing along with his family.

Harris said the law is the “most important piece of legislation to pass through the Statehouse in 30 years for firefighters.”

While some lawmakers expressed concerns about the strain the measure could put on municipalities’ budgets, it gained approval in both the House and Senate.

Stern said the law will only apply to firefighters diagnosed with certain types of cancer, such as lung, prostate or brain cancers and leukemia.

Firefighters who smoke, are over the age of 75, or who served less than three years would also be exempt from additional benefits under the law, according to Stern.

Suspect, customer exchange shots during attempted bank robbery

Published: Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 8:33 AM

Contributed photo WCPO-TV

Police said shots were exchanged between a bank robber and a customer inside Key Bank location north of Cincinnati on Monday. 

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Officers in Colerain Twp. were called to the bank around 11 a.m. Monday on Springdale Road, our news partner WCPO-TV reports. Employees told police the robber entered the bank wearing dark clothing and a black hat and demanded cash. 

Police said at some point a customer inside the bank and the robber fired shots at each other. Following the shootout the suspect and a second man fled from the scene on foot. 

Neither the customers nor employees were injured. But, police said they were not sure if suspect or the other man suffered injuries. Police issued an alert to local hospital in case the suspect arrived with a gunshot wound, WCPO-TV reports. 

There were no reports of the suspect arriving at a hospital for treatment. 

Police told the station the customer who fired was legally carrying the firearm. 

The FBI is also assisting with the investigation. 

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