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Published: Monday, February 13, 2017 @ 6:50 PM
Updated: Monday, February 13, 2017 @ 6:50 PM
DAYTON — In an attempt to fight drug trafficking, U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, will re-introduce a bill designed to apply more stringent rules to foreign packages carried by the U.S. Postal Service.
“Right now, the U.S. Mail system does not require information about where a product comes from, what’s in the package and where it’s going,” Portman said Monday after meeting with Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer. “We believe that information alone will make a big difference for law enforcement.”
Portman’s visit to Dayton, one of the areas hardest-hit by the state’s drug epidemic, came a day after this newspaper reported on the very issue the senator hopes his bill, the Synthetics Trafficking and Overdose Prevention Act, will address. Portman and Columbus area Rep. Pat Tiberi, a Republican, first introduced the bill last session without success.
»INVESTIGATION: Loophole lets Chinese opioids into state
This newspaper reported overseas drug traffickers are exploiting a gap in U.S. law that allows packages to enter the country through the U.S. Postal Service virtually unchecked. Portman said unlike UPS and FedEx, the Postal Service does not require electronic customs data for foreign packages.
“It’s more work for the Postal Service, but it’s necessary to save lives,” Portman said, adding he would support directing funds to the Postal Service to “make sure they have the resources to be able to get the information” his bill would require the agency obtain.
“We’re not asking them to do as much in terms of the law enforcement part as in terms of collecting information,” Portman said.
An independent agency, the Postal Service does not use taxpayer money for its operations. Under federal law, it can’t raise prices more than the rate of inflation without approval from the Postal Regulatory Commission.
Closing the loophole is supported by the group Americans for Securing All Packages, an organization funded in part by major players in the pharmaceutical and music industries — fields which suffer from counterfeits. The political action committees of at least five ASAP corporate members donated nearly $20,000 to Portman’s re-election campaign over the past two years, according to federal election records.
Portman met with Plummer for about 45-minutes behind closed doors Monday to discuss the drug epidemic. The sheriff, who is a Republican, said he support’s Portman’s legislation.
“It’s a cat and mouse game, we discover one way they’re doing business, they change it up, so this legislation will be a major tool in our tool box,” the sheriff said.
More reporting on Ohio’s drug epidemic:
The Associated Press and Staff Writer Chris Stewart contributed reporting.
Published: Friday, May 18, 2018 @ 6:32 PM
Updated: Monday, May 21, 2018 @ 3:58 AM
DAYTON — Five traffic enforcement red-light cameras will be activated starting today at two intersections.
Three cameras will be at James H. McGee Boulevard and West Third Street, and two others are at Linden Avenue and South Smithville Road. A 30-day warning period begins Monday at both locations, according to a release from the city.
During the warning period, the registered owner of a vehicle committing a violation will be sent a warning in the mail. After 30 days, citations will be issued by mail, according to the city.
Activation of these red-light cameras completes the Dayton Police Department’s plan for traffic enforcement cameras.
Following is a list of fixed-site camera locations, along with the current locations of mobile speed trailers:
The Dayton Police Department also uses six handheld speed enforcement camera units.
There have been 84 fewer injury crashes (432) to date in 2018 compared to 516 injury crashes during the same period in 2017, the city reported.
Published: Saturday, May 19, 2018 @ 6:30 PM
Updated: Sunday, May 20, 2018 @ 11:33 AM
DAYTON — UPDATE @ 11:26 a.m.
Montgomery County Coroner’s Office confirmed Sherrell Wheatley, 62, of Dayton was the woman shot and killed Saturday while walking near a house targeted by a drive-by shooting in Dayton.
UPDATE @ 9 p.m.
A woman in her 60s was gunned down this evening when she was walking near a house targeted by a drive-by shooting, police said.
The woman, whose name was not released, was an innocent bystander who suffered at least one gunshot wound; she was taken to Miami Valley Hospital, where she succumbed to her injuries, Dayton police Sgt. Creigee Coleman said.
“A vehicle driven by a male had another male inside the vehicle, and that male fired several rounds towards an unknown house in an attempt to probably cause damage to that house,” Coleman said.
The passenger fired five or six rounds, he said.
Aaron Taylor said the woman was his great aunt.
“I just happened to pull up, see my auntie in the grass dead,” he said.
He described his aunt as a sweet lady and matriarch of his family and the community.
“Definitely innocent bystander walking up the street,” Taylor said.
Police are searching for a silver Ford Taurus or similar four-door car, and also are asking for the public’s help to come forward with any information.
“Now this is a situation where a person was indiscriminately firing a weapon, a large-caliber weapon from what I’ve been told, at a house and a person who was innocent just happened to be walking by and got hit by a bullet that has no eyes,” Coleman said.
Police and medics were called this evening to a shooting.
The shooting was reported at 6:10 p.m. in the 800 block of North Euclid Avenue.
At least one person was shot, according to the Montgomery County Regional Dispatch Center.
According to initial reports, a caller heard 12 to 15 gunshots and saw a woman on the ground.
We are on the way and will update this report as we learn details.
Published: Sunday, May 20, 2018 @ 12:08 AM
DAYTON — A woman accused of grand theft auto said she drove off in a stolen car “because it was faster than walking,” according to a Dayton police report.
Police were called around 9:45 p.m. Friday to Church’s Chicken, 2443 N. Gettysburg Ave., after a woman said her white 2018 Chevrolet Equinox rental was stolen from the parking lot after she went inside to get food.
The rented vehicle was tracked using OnStar, and a Dayton officer was able to find it a little more than three miles away in the 100 block of North Plaza Avenue, according to a police report.
Police identified the alleged driver as 36-year-old Brittany Grandberry.
When asked why she drove the vehicle: “she stated that she walked past it and saw it was running and walked back to it. She stated that she drove the vehicle away from Church’s Chicken because it was faster than walking.”
Grandberry is due Monday in Dayton Municipal Court.
Published: Saturday, May 19, 2018 @ 11:14 PM
TURTLECREEK TWP. — Law enforcement is asking for the public’s help to find two prisoners who escaped Saturday night from the Community Correctional Center.
Deputies from the Warren County Sheriff’s Office responded around 8:30 p.m. to the area of 5234 state Route 63, the CCC, for a report of two men running through a field. They jumped into an older model silver minivan and fled the area.
The men are identified as Daniel Hatfield Jr. and Jeremy Mink, and were confirmed to have escaped from the facility run by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Correction, according to the sheriff’s office.
Hatfield, 27, stands 5 feet 6 inches, weighs 186 pounds, has blue eyes and brown hair. He was last seen wearing tan pants and a white shirt. He is sentenced to CCC after being convicted of a probation violation for drug offenses out of Butler County.
Mink 28, stands 6 feet, 1 inch, weighs 195 pounds has blue eyes and brown hair. He was last seen wearing tan pants and no shirt. He was sentenced to CCC after being convicted of drug offenses out of Clermont County.
Anyone with information on either man’s whereabouts is urged to contact the Warren County Sheriff’s Office at 513-695-1280.