Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced that work by agents with his agency's Heroin Unit helped lead to the arrest of several individuals suspected of orchestrating a major heroin operation in northeast Ohio.
Authorities with the Lorain Police Department, Lorain County Drug Task Force, and Elyria Narcotics Unit requested the assistance of the Attorney General's Heroin Unit in June.
The unit, which was developed by DeWine in response to the growing number of heroin overdose deaths in the state, is made up of Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) agents who can provide investigative assistance to law enforcement agencies undergoing large-scale heroin investigations.
Those involved in the investigation announced that the operation led to the arrest of seven suspects in what has been described as the largest heroin investigation in Lorain history.
"We are very proud to have partnered with local law enforcement to assist in their investigation and help gather very strong evidence against the individuals involved in this major heroin distribution ring," DeWine said. "I formed the Heroin Unit to specifically go after the high-level traffickers putting this deadly drug into the hands of those suffering from addiction, and we will continue to aggressively go after heroin dealers statewide."
"Assistance from the Attorney General's Heroin Unit was very helpful in gathering evidence against the suspects in this case," Lorain Police Sgt. Tom Nimon said. "We intend to continue working together to stop traffickers from coming to this area."
"This case is a perfect example of what can happen when local and state law enforcement agencies partner together to fight those bringing heroin into our communities," Lorain County Sheriff Phil Stammitti said. "We are very appreciative of the teamwork by everyone associated with the case."
"With the heroin epidemic plaguing the state right now, we will continue to join forces with state law enforcement to do all we can to curtail drug abuse in this area and put large scale distributors into custody," said Elyria Police Department Narcotics Unit Detective Sgt. James Welsh.
In addition to BCI agents, the Attorney General's Heroin Unit also includes prosecutors and outreach prevention specialists.