October 10, 2008
Batavia, Ohio. The Clermont County Drug Task Force has significantly altered the drug pipeline into the area following a nine month investigation known as Operation Opiate Blocker. A total of 61 people have been indicted or charged with 185 felony offenses, involving tracking and abuse of heroin, Oxycontin, methadone, morphine, codeine, and Percocet. The drugs confiscated have an estimated street value of over $250,000. “This represents the largest number of individuals ever charged in the county during a single operation,” said Clermont Sheriff A.J. “Tim” Rodenberg.
“Over the past 14 months we have experienced escalating reports of heroin in the area,” said Clermont Chief Deputy Rick Combs. “The ‘Black Tar’ heroin we have confiscated is a cheap but deadly form of heroin that has been linked to overdoses and deaths.” Combs said that last year the task force confiscated a total of 17 grams of heroin; in this single operation, over 301 grams were found.
“Task force agents are continuing to follow up on information related to the case; other arrests are possible,” said Sheriff Rodenberg. “This is a tragic sign of our times; it’s sad to see our community involved in illegal drug activity. This will not be tolerated. Drug dealers are on notice that we, here in Clermont County, will be watching for them and when we catch them, they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
In addition to the drug, Operation Opiate Blocker has resulted in the confiscation of three vehicles and several thousand dollars in cash.
The Clermont County Drug Task Force is under the direction and supervision of the Clermont County Sheriff and is comprised of undercover officers from the Sheriff’s Office, Milford Police Department, Union Township Police Department, Miami Township Police Department, and the Pierce Township Police Department.Pictured above: Sheriff Rodenberg is surrounded by Pierce Twp. Police Chief James Smith, Miami Twp. Police Chief Steve Bailey, Union Twp. Police Chief Terry Zinzer, and Milford Police Chief Mark Machan during a news conference announcing the drug busts.
For additional information about this or other county news, contact Clermont County Communications Director Kathy Lehr at (513) 732-7597 or by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.