Task Force busts alleged major heroin gang

Updated: Saturday, September 24, 2016 @ 3:33 PM
Published: Wednesday, July 18, 2012 @ 10:27 PM
By: Doug Page - Staff Writer

Federal and local authorities have busted what they say is a violent heroin gang, taking tens of thousands of dollars worth of drugs off the street and disrupting a pattern of violence that may have been responsible for multiple homicides and armed robberies throughout the region.

The Safe Streets Task Force announced the arrests of 12 members of the Zone 6/BPN gang on Wednesday. The task force has been tracking the gang since 2011 and had it under surveillance in April when an undercover Dayton police detective was shot outside of Leo’s II Bar in Trotwood.

“This ongoing investigation started in April of 2011. The members of the Zone 6/BPN gang are suspects in multiple homicides and robberies,” Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer said at a Wednesday press conference.

FBI Supervisory Special Agent Tim Ferguson said nine of the 12 alleged gang members arrested over the past 10 days have been indicted on multiple heroin and weapons charges. Three other alleged gang members already were in jail on state charges prior to the release of the indictment, he said.

“This leaves a void in the street-level heroin trade,” Ferguson said. “But there is always someone who will try to fill that void. Our job is to gather the intelligence to get the next group.”

Also off the streets are 10 handguns, three assault-style rifles, a shotgun and more than $46,000 in alleged drug money.

The same task force took down the Booby Hill gang in March, arresting seven alleged gang members. They were charged with working in Fairborn, Middletown and Wapakoneta to peddle hundreds of grams of heroin to addicts throughout Auglaize, Butler, Greene and Montgomery counties. Some of the families of the arrested have denied that their relatives are involved in gangs.

Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl said officers were aware of the Zone 6 gang — a group of “friends and family” not bound to a particular neighborhood, according to Ferguson — in early 2011. Biehl said the task force got involved after Zone 6 got into a shootout with another group in front of JP’s Bar, a Gettysburg Avenue night spot, in August 2011. ” It was then Biehl asked for help from the task force and surveillance of the gang started.

The August shootout was captured on security video. It showed two men pulling a man from a car and robbing him at gunpoint. At one point, a man is seen running backward while firing a handgun.

“We knew we had to do something to protect the public,” Biehl said.

Three of the 12 were arrested in Atlanta, according to Ferguson.

According to the 22-count federal indictment, all nine are indicted on charges of conspiring to distribute more than 1 kilogram of heroin. Neither the indictment nor officials identified anyone as the group’s leader.

The indictment alleges Zone 6/BPN — Bottle Poppin’ Network — bought heroin in bulk and broke it into smaller amounts to sell to users. The group shared cell phones —money phones — to set up the sales with the users. When one member couldn’t sell on a particular day, he would give the money phone to another member to continue the sales. The group also established stash houses where they stored and sold their drugs. For security, the group often kept weapons and, in one case, body armor in the stash houses.

Those stash houses included 2742 Oxford Ave., 66 N. Hatfield St. — both in Dayton — and 472 Ginger Place in Trotwood.

Those arrested and their charges include:

  • Brittan A. “BB” Gibson, 25, one count of drug trafficking and two counts of possessing a firearm in the furtherance of the trafficking
  • Sherman Brown, 23, five drug distribution counts, one count of maintaining a stash house, two firearms count, and one count involving the sale of two bulletproof vests as a convicted felon
  • Brian J. “BH” Hunter, 21, two drug counts and one firearms count
  • Keith A. Strickland Jr., 24, one drug count, one firearms count and one stash house count
  • Steven L. “Stevie-O” Mayberry, 21, one drug count
  • Paul “P” Hudson, 25, one drug count, two firearms counts, one stash house count
  • Maurice R. “Fat-Fat” Morgan Jr., no age available, two drug counts
  • Marcus Gullatte, no age available, one drug count, one firearms count and one stash house count
  • Jerron McDowell, 19, one drug count and one firearms count

Authorities also confiscated a 2008 Dodge Charger, 10 handguns, three assault-style rifles, bulletproof vests, assorted jewelry and $46,382 in cash.

Three other alleged gang members — Tyler “BG” Hamilton, 20, Gabriel “Gino” Newman, no age available, and Todd Clark, 24 — were in jail prior to the indictments on various state charges, the FBI’s Ferguson said. Hamilton was involved in a drug-related homicide in Harrison Twp. last year. Hamilton was in his car when he shot a 19-year-old Hillsboro man when the man attacked him in an argument over a drug sale. Prosecutors declined to charge Hamilton because of the state’s Castle Doctrine that allows a person to defend themselves against attack in their house or vehicle.

A 13th alleged gang member, 22-year-old Charles Moore III, was killed in a traffic accident last month when he spotted an undercover sheriff’s deputy and fled along Gettysburg, running a red light at Hoover Avenue. His Jeep was struck by another vehicle at the intersection. Police found cash and multiple cell phones in the wrecked Jeep.

Sen. Mark Kirk questions opponent’s American heritage during Illinois debate

Updated: Friday, October 28, 2016 @ 1:53 AM
Published: Friday, October 28, 2016 @ 1:35 AM
By: Bob D'Angelo - Cox Media Group National Content Desk

            Sen. Mark Kirk questions opponent’s American heritage during Illinois debate

Sen. Mark Kirk’s one-line comeback about his opponent’s mixed-race heritage was met by an awkward silence during Thursday night’s debate in Springfield, Illinois.

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Kirk, the incumbent U.S. Senator from Illinois, was engaged in the second of three debates with Rep. Tammy Duckworth, a U.S. Army veteran who lost both of her legs in the Iraqi war, the Chicago Tribune reported. Duckworth, who was born in Thailand, is the daughter of a United States marine and a Thai-Chinese mother.

During the debate, the discussion turned to the military and Duckworth, a Democrat who is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, discussed her family’s record of military service.

“My family has served this nation in uniform going back to the Revolution,” Duckworth said. “I’m a daughter of the American Revolution. I’ve bled for this nation.”

When it was his turn to respond in a 30-second rebuttal, Kirk said that he “had forgotten that your parents came all the way from Thailand to serve George Washington.”

Duckworth took a drink of water. An awkward silence followed before the moderator announced they were moving on to the next question. The Washington Post reported that a panelist gave Duckworth time to respond by detailing her family history — including the fact that the Daughters of the American Revolution erected a statue of her in Mount Vernon, Ill.

Duckworth responded that “There's been members of my family serving on my father's side since the American Revolution,” the Tribune reported. She said she was “proud of both my father's side and my mother's side as an immigrant.”

Kirk's comment drew quick national attention. The left-wing publication Mother Jones called it a
“bizarre and offensive quip.”

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee quickly condemned the comment as racist. "Senator Mark Kirk’s attack on Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth’s family tonight was offensive, wrong, and racist,” spokeswoman Lara Sisselman said in a statement. 

During the first joint appearance on Oct. 3 before the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board, Kirk gave short answers and did not engage with his opponent, the newspaper reported. On Thursday night, the Republican went after Duckworth on a variety of issues ranging from homeland security, military policy and college affordability. 

A statement issued by Kirk campaign spokeswoman Eleni Demertzis did not include an apology from the senator or any claim that Duckworth has misrepresented her family heritage.

“Sen. Kirk has consistently called Rep. Duckworth a war hero and honors her family’s service to this country,” Demertzis said. “But that’s not what this debate was about. Rep. Duckworth lied about her legal troubles, was unable to defend her failures at the VA and then falsely attacked Sen. Kirk over his record on supporting gay rights.”


Tammy Duckworth 58 mins ago

OVI checkpoint Friday night in Hamilton

Updated: Friday, October 28, 2016 @ 1:19 AM
By: Breaking News Staff

            OVI checkpoint Friday night in Hamilton
Staff photo

The Butler County OVI Task Force has announced the location of an OVI checkpoint in Hamilton for Friday night.

The Task Force will be out at the intersection of State Route 4 and Hannover Street from 10 p.m. Friday to 2 a.m. Saturday, according to a release.

In addition to the checkpoint, police, deputies, and state troopers will also conduct saturation patrols in the area.

For updates and more news click here to download our free apps.

Indians fan digs professor's response after skipping class for World Series

Updated: Friday, October 28, 2016 @ 12:53 AM
Published: Friday, October 28, 2016 @ 12:38 AM
By: Bob D'Angelo - Cox Media Group National Content Desk

            Indians fan digs professor's response after skipping class for World Series
Charlie Winovich, right, poses with his brother Will during Game 1 of the 2016 World Series. (Charlie Winovich/@CharlesTurner, Twitter)

Charlie Winovich is a rabid Cleveland Indians fan who had a dream come true this week. Not only was his beloved baseball team in the World Series for the first time since 1997, he also had tickets to Game 1 of the Fall Classic, thanks to his father who bought a pair for Charlie and his brother.

 >> Read more trending stories

The snag for the Ohio University student was that he had class Tuesday night.

That didn’t stop Winovich. The student checked into class, gave his homework to another student to turn in and then quietly slipped away to attend the game at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Fox Sports reported.

When Charlie’s professor, R. Damian Nance, took attendance at the end of class, the student naturally was not there. Charlie then received an email from Nance, a distinguished professor of geological sciences who said he had "zero tolerance" for such absences.

Charlie responded with the truth. “I’ll be completely honest,” he wrote. “I came and swiped and gave a kid next to me my homework because my dad got us tickets to the World Series in Cleveland. I’m sorry I didn’t want to miss the attendance and I did the homework. I understand if you have repercussions.”

Winovich then attached a photo of himself and his brother at the game.

Damian’s response was one any geological sciences student could dig.

“Charlie. That looks like an impeccable excuse,” he wrote. “No repercussions. Go Tribe!”

Winovich posted a screen shot of the email exchange. He and his brother Will were rewarded by the home team, as the Indians won Game 1 6-0 against the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland pitcher Corey Kluber pitched a masterful game — nine strikeouts in six-plus innings.

“It was me and my little brother and probably the closest time we’ll ever share together,” Winovich told CBS News. “I can’t even explain to you what this past year has been like for your everyday Cleveland fan. It’s surreal.”

It was even more special to get the tickets as a present from his dad, a quadriplegic who has been living with Lou Gehrig’s disease for the past 12 years. 

Winovich’s grandfather had season tickets that he planned on selling so Winovich’s dad could get a better wheelchair, CBS News reported. But his dad refused, and instead, insisted that Charlie and Will go to the game.

“Whatever the (repercussions were going to be), it was worth it to make it to a World Series game,” Winovich told CBS News, adding that it was his first — and perhaps last — World Series game ever. “No matter what the case, if you are a Clevelander and something big is going to happen, we will be there to support our own.”

Nance’s email was flooded with well-wishers because of his response to Winovich, the student-run Post Athens of Ohio University reported.

“I realized I had become twitter famous at 5:40 a.m. this morning when I got a text from my son Christopher in Barcelona, Spain,” Nance said in an email to the newspaper.

1 wounded in apparent drive-by shooting on Dearborn Avenue in Dayton

Updated: Friday, October 28, 2016 @ 12:19 AM
By: Breaking News Staff

UPDATE @ 10:53 p.m.: Police tell us they are investigating an apparent drive-by shooting that occurred when someone sprayed the house and street with gunfire, hitting a male resident inside.

That victim has been taken to Good Samaritan Hospital. The injuries are said to be non-life threatening. His condition is not known.

Police evidence markers, indicating shell casings, are scattered in the yard, the driveway and in the street.

Officers remain on scene and the street remains closed for the investigation.


Dayton police are investigating a shooting in the 800 block of Dearborn Avenue.

The shooting was reported about 8:45 p.m.

The street continues to be blocked at Germantown Street (state Route 4) and there are markers in the street to indicate shell casings.

We have a crew on scene and we’re working to get details about what happened.

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