Montgomery County Sheriff: 21 kilograms of fentanyl found in drug cartel bust
MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - Investigators with the Miami Valley Bulk Smuggling Task Force seized 21 kilograms of heroin and fentanyl from 3 homes in Dayton and Harrison Township.
According to Sheriff Phil Plummer, four suspects were arrested and linked to the Sinaloa Drug Cartel in Mexico in connection with the bust.
Dagoberto Verdugo-Aguirre, 45, of Dayton; Julio Castillo-Egurrola, 30, of Dayton; Emmanuel Sanchez-Perez, 28, of Harrison Township; and Cabrera Alvarez, 42, of Phoenix, Arizona were arrested and charged with Possession of Drugs, Trafficking of Drugs and Money Laundering.
Sanchez-Perez is not a U.S. Citizen. He faced a previous deportation, but returned to the United States.
According to the Ohio Attorney General's office, throughout the three-day investigation, the Miami Valley Bulk Smuggling Task Force searched several residences, which included:110 Klee Avenue in Dayton, 115 South Delmar Avenue in Dayton and 332 Hillway Drive in Harrison Township.
Plummer said it's the same cartel they busted smuggling opiates in 2015.
He also said danger is looming as fentanyl overdose numbers skyrocket, because stronger drugs in the market are depleting their stock of life-saving Narcan.
"We need to throw more dollars at this problem or we're going to keep burying people," Plummer said during a news conference April 13.
In front of Plummer on the table during the conference were approximately 21 kilograms (46 lbs.) of heroin and fentanyl, 20 lbs. of marijuana, $120,000 in cash and a gun.
Coroner Kent Harshbarger said fentanyl accounts for 53 percent of their overdose deaths investigated.
"Those products are so strong, as the sheriff said, the next dose might be your last," Harshbarger said.
"Our guys are telling us heroin is being pushed back to Mexico," Captain Mike Brem with the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office said. "The Dayton market doesn't even want it, what the Dayton market wants is Fentanyl; it's much stronger."
"What you're looking at in front of us, I can't even imagine how many people's lives would have been lost if this was out in the community," Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said.
In Montgomery County, Bruce Langos from the Drug Free Coalition said 354 people overdosed and died in 2016, and that that number is on track to double in 2017.
"To the users out there- the next time you stick a needle in your arm, it may be the last time," Plummer said.
He said because of stronger drugs, the sheriff's office supply of life-saving Naloxone (Narcan) is running out and may be depleted by the end of the year.
"There may come a point when we're out of Narcan and the next dose you use you may not be saved," Plummer said. "The other day we had to Narcan someone in the jail 16 times. That’s about $800 worth of Narcan in one usage."
Plummer said his department had used 400 kits of Narcan in the first 90 days of 2017, which does not include doses from EMT's and firefighters.
He said the county had a grant and purchased a certain amount of Narcan, and once it runs out they will have to regroup and figure out how to purchase more.
Attorney General Mike DeWine said at the news conference that outside of law enforcement, urgency is lacking to end Ohio's opiate epidemic.
Sheriff Plummer had a plea to make for help kicking the cartels out, and their drugs along with them.
"I'm asking every police department to send us a body for these task forces," Plummer said. "We need to get our heads out of the sand work together and fix this problem."
The Miami Valley Bulk Smuggling Task Force, which is part of the Ohio Attorney General's Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission, is made up of officers from the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Miami Township Police Department, Butler Township Police Department, Montgomery County RANGE Task Force, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations, Drug Enforcement Administration and Montgomery County Prosecutor's Office.
Sheriff Plummer said the case is being handed over to the US Attorney's office.