Clermont Sheriff's Office Gets New Weapon in War against Meth

News Release
December 17, 2007

Clermont Sheriff's Office Gets New Weapon in War against Meth

Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann and Clermont County Sheriff A.J. 'Tim' Rodenberg Batavia, Ohio. "It is the most devastating illegal drug in Clermont County," said Clermont Sheriff A.J. "Tim" Rodenberg, in accepting a $450,000 grant from the U.S. Justice Department to battle methamphetamine, a highly addictive drug that contains portions of over-the-counter cold remedies, road flares, lithium batteries, and even farm fertilizer.

"This grant will be extremely helpful in continuing to shut down meth labs that have been found across the county," said Rodenberg. While the drug was virtually unheard of locally in 2000, by 2005 the county was a leader in the state with 42 meth labs busted and 88 people arrested. A crackdown on the labs has resulted in a steady decrease in the number of labs discovered; this year the Clermont County Narcotics Task Force raided 14 meth labs and arrested 36 people on meth charges.

The grant is part of the Ohio Methamphetamine Pilot Initiative (OMPI), announced at a Monday, December 17, 2007 news conference by Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann, Sheriff Rodenberg, and Highland County Sheriff Ron Ward. The OMPI is a proactive multi-jurisdictional approach to eradicate the production of meth and its impact on communities throughout Ohio. "The four law enforcement agencies taking part in the program (Clermont County Sheriff's Office, Highland County Sheriff's Office, Ashtabula County Sheriff's Office, City of Akron.) will intensify the ongoing battle against methamphetamine and I am confident that the pooling of resources fostered by this new initiative will enable us to make progress in what is literally a life and death struggle to put meth cooks, transporters, and dealers out of business and in jail where they belong," said Dann.

"Here in Clermont County, numerous children have been removed from these toxic labs and placed in foster care," said Sheriff Rodenberg. "The clean up at these sites costs thousands of dollars. The federal grant will help local law enforcement pay for additional equipment and training needed to battle meth, and will go toward more public education about this horrific unwelcome visitor to our community."

"Thus far in Ohio this year, there have been 234 incidents involving methamphetamine use," said Dann. "The abusers are both male and female, and we have even discovered a 14-year-old meth addict." Clermont Commissioner Bob Proud said that this grant will enable communities to stay one step ahead of people who cook and distribute meth.

Pictured above: Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann and Clermont County Sheriff A.J. "Tim" Rodenberg

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For additional information, please contact Clermont County Communications Director Kathy Lehr at (513) 732-7597.

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