Guns, drugs confiscated in lengthy investigation

Published: Thursday, October 04, 2012 @ 2:25 PM
Updated: Thursday, October 04, 2012 @ 3:35 PM

A joint investigation into gun and drug trafficking in Dayton has led to one arrest and more than 30 guns being confiscated, Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer announced Thursday.

Officers with the Montgomery County Regional Agencies Narcotics & Gun Task Force said the investigation spanned nine-months and there could be more arrests to come.

“These are violent criminals selling guns on the streets and causing problems in our neighborhoods,” Plummer said as he praised the work of the RANGE officers.

Dwight Stargell Sr., of 223 S. Ardmore Ave. in Dayton, is being held in the Butler County Jail and will be charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, dealing in firearms without a license, possession of a firearm in the furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, distribution of cocaine and possession of a sawed off shotgun.

He was arrested at his home Wednesday where Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents and RANGE task force detectives served a search warrant and confiscated three firearms, cocaine and marijuana.

A total of 35 firearms, nine of which have been identified as stolen, were recovered from Stargell’s home during two separate searches and through purchases by undercover officers. Three of those weapons are connected to the death of Dayton business owner Tommy Nickles in April, for which Stargell’s nephew Anthony Stargell Jr. has been indicted on murder and 22 other felony counts.

The firearms are mostly handguns, but also included a sawed off shotgun, two assault rifles with high capacity magazines and other rifles and shotguns.

“That will rip through your car, your vest, everything,” RANGE field commander Sgt. Mike Brem said about one of the assault rifles.

“Firearms trafficking is a crime that affects everybody,” said ATF Resident Agent in Charge Scott Chard. He said agents will work to track the weapons, determine where they came and return the stolen firearms to their owners.

RANGE detectives had been conducting an undercover investigation of Stargell for four months when his nephew was arrested April 11 in connection with Nickles’ slaying.

“We got information that one or multiple guns from a homicide had made their way over to Dwight’s house,” Brem said.

A search warrant was executed at Stargell’s home on April 19 and detectives found cocaine, marijuana, the sawed off shotgun, a pistol and ammunition. A firearm used in Nickles’ death was recovered at that time.

Anthony Stargell’s trial date has not been set. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty, but his lawyer submitted a motion to dismiss the death penalty specifications on Monday along with a dozen other motions requesting disclosure of various State’s evidence.

Anthony Stargell is accused of shooting both Nickles and his golden retriever to death in an apparent robbery at Nickles’ Quality One Electric business at 838 S. Main St. on April 3.

Dwight Stargell was convicted of carrying a concealed weapon and trafficking in counterfeit drugs in 2007 and sentenced to six months in prison.

Fairborn police investigate death of infant

Published: Sunday, April 23, 2017 @ 10:33 PM

The death of an infant Sunday night, April 23, 2017, in Fairborn is under investigation.
Caroline Reinwald / Staff

The death of an infant tonight in Fairborn is ongoing, police outside the Fairborn Apartments said.

Crews were called around 8 p.m. to an apartment in the 300 block of Wallace Drive in the complex on a report of a 3-month-old baby not breathing, according to scanner reports.

We have a crew on scene and are working to find out what led to this tragedy.

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Prayers offered up for deported Fairfield mother, her family

Published: Sunday, April 23, 2017 @ 6:26 PM

Participants at the Divine Mercy prayer service this afternoon at St. Julie Billiart Church in Hamilton prayed in English and Spanish first one, then the other as they made pleas for Maribel Trujillo Diaz and her family. 

They prayed for peace for Trujillo, a Fairfield woman deported to Mexico last week, as well as for her family and all immigrants. They also prayed for her safety from drug cartels in Mexico that have threatened her family, and for her to be reunited with her family, which includes her husband and four U.S.-born children ages 3 through 14. 

They prayed Pope Francis' Prayer to the Holy Family, which includes the plea, "Holy Family of Nazareth, may families never again experience violence, rejection and division." 

The pastor at St. Julie's, which is Trujillo's parish, Fr. Mike Pucke, said many more people might have attended the prayer service than the few dozen who did Sunday afternoon, but among the immigrants from Mexico as well as Central- and South America, "people are living scared." 

Also, two Butler County Sheriff's cruisers parked nearby may have frightened some, he said. 

Speakers during the service contemplated the need to intermingle justice with mercy, which they described as a necessary part of justice. The church and other advocates for Trujillo have pleaded to the area's federal lawmakers, as well as to federal officials on Trujillo's behalf, noting she was not a criminal and had four children who were citizens. 

Pucke said Trujillo told both him and her husband to "make sure the kids do their homework." 

Tony Stieritz, director of Catholic social action for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati praised Butler County churches for advocating on Trujillo's behalf. 

As for her own parish, "Your unrelenting support for the Trujillo Diaz family is a shining example" for the rest of the archdiocese, Stieritz said. He added the church has included Spanish-speaking immigrants not as strangers, but as their own. 

Stieritz called on attendees to call their Congressional representatives Monday morning, "and ask them to finally fix our broken immigration system so that more immigrants like Maribel can truly have a viable path to come here and raise their families in peace. That's our simple message."

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Black smoke pours from scrapyard fire near downtown Dayton

Published: Sunday, April 23, 2017 @ 3:35 PM
Updated: Sunday, April 23, 2017 @ 5:00 PM

UPDATE @ 5 p.m.

Dayton firefighters responded to a large fire this afternoon at the Franklin Iron and Metal scrapyard on East First Street.

Black smoke was seen rising from the fire, reported at 3:20 p.m., near downtown Dayton.

“It’s a large pile of shredded automobiles. The pile is maybe the size of one or two houses; it’s a fairly large pile, District Chief James Rose of the Dayton Fire Department said of the heap of non-metal items such as seats pulled out of scrapped vehicles. “So it’s just a matter of penetrating the fire, and officials from the recycling center showed up and they’re dispersing the pile for us. That was a big help.”

It’s not clear what sparked the fire, but no one was hurt and the business was closed.

“It’s not going to be a multiple-day event like we had several years ago,” Rose said.

Fires at the recycling business are not routine, but not terribly unusual Rose said. There were fires reported in 2016, 2011 and one in 2010 that took several days to extinguish, our news archives show.

FIRST REPORT

Black smoke is rising from a fire near downtown Dayton and firefighters have been called to respond to the Franklin Iron and Metal property on East First Street.

The fire was reported around 3:20 p.m. at the scrapyard business, 1939 E. First St.

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14-year-old mowing grass finds body from apparent overdose

Published: Sunday, April 23, 2017 @ 5:41 PM

Police in the Miami Valley respond to drug overdoses all too often these days, and the past 24 hours for Dayton police were no exception. 

Among the calls between Friday night and Saturday, Dayton officers investigated three incidents in which two men died and two men were revived with Narcan.

Police responded shortly after 10 p.m. Friday to the 1200 block of Lamar Street and found medics trying to revive 37-year-old Alim Ilkham who was unconscious, according to the police report. The man’s wife was there with a friend. She called 9-1-1 after finding her husband unconscious in the tractor-trailer that was idling nearby.

Medics administered three doses of Narcan and revived Ilkham, who was taken to Miami Valley Hospital for treatment.

Inside the cab of the tractor-trailer, officers found evidence of drug abuse as well as the body of 45-year-old Miguel Lopez, who is believed to be Ilkham’s co-driver. The pair was hauling produce for a trucking company based out of Pennsylvania, according to the report.

The next morning, police responded to a possible dead body at an apartment building in the 3100 block of Hassler Street.

The property manager’s 14-year-old granddaughter was helping to cut grass when she came upon a man who was slumped over behind some bushes at the rear of the building, according to the report.

Medics responded and pronounced the man dead. He was identified as 25-year-old Cody Robert Couch, according to the report.

Saturday evening, a suspected overdose led to a crash on U.S. 35 East at South Gettysburg Avenue, which left a street light knocked over in the median, a heavily damaged 2011 Chevy Cruise and an unconscious driver identified as 38-year-old Jason Lilly of New Vienna.

Police arrived before medics and a passerby stopped to help. There was a used hypodermic needle on the driver’s side floorboard, according to the report.

Police said the passerby possessed Narcan and administered two doses. Medics arrived and administered two more doses before Lilly was revived, according to the report.

Police said the driver later admitted to officers at the hospital that he had used heroin and drove to the city to buy it.

Lilly was issued a summons to appear in Dayton Municipal Court on potential charges of possessing drug abuse instruments and operating a vehicle while intoxicated.