Ohio governor commends Montgomery County task forces battling drugs

Groups have seized thousands of opioid doses, hundreds of thousands of grams of heroin/fentanyl and meth in recent years.

Gov. Mike DeWine commended Montgomery County law enforcement task forces for their work taking deadly drugs off the streets in recent years but said the fight against fentanyl and other drugs continues.

Since 2018, the Miami Valley Bulk Smuggling Task Force and Regional Agencies Narcotics and Gun Enforcement (RANGE) have seized thousands of opioid doses and almost 200,000 grams of heroin/fentanyl. They have also taken hundreds of thousands of grams of meth off the street.

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“I appreciate the task force work that is going on in Montgomery County,” DeWine said Thursday at the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. “One of the challenges for the sheriff and one of the challenges for the city is we have two interstates that go right through here and that makes it very, very difficult and a great place for the drug cartel to come to and operate.”

DeWine visited Montgomery County and met with Montgomery County Sheriff Rob Streck, State Rep. Phil Plummer, State Rep. Andrea White and State Sen. Steve Huffman to discuss drug trends and investigations in Montgomery County.

In 2017, Montgomery County was first in the state in overdose deaths, Streck said and now the county is down to 14th.

“There are a lot of people doing a lot of good things,” the sheriff said. “I wish we could say we were last in the entire state, but it still shows we are out doing good things and one of those things is our task forces.”

The governor said one of the main battles law enforcement face is drugs coming across the southern border.

“We battle them here in Montgomery County and we will continue but we also need frankly more help, more assistance, more people along the borders,” he said.

“People in Ohio might say ‘well why should I care?’ We should care because ... drugs are coming through there. The drugs that are killing Ohioans are coming across that southern border,” DeWine said.

Ohio has National Guard members at the border currently and have sent Ohio State Highway Patrol Troopers to assist Texas authorities.

The governor said despite the southern border issues, residents can be proud of the men and women who serve the community.

“I just want to congratulate the men and women of these two task forces, they do a phenomenal job. This is not an easy time to be involved with law enforcement and I just want to thank them for the great work they do. They are out there sometimes risking their lives, 2 o’clock in the morning when the rest of us are sleeping and they are making a big, big difference.”

And Streck said the task forces will continue to work to remove drugs from Montgomery County.

“Drugs of any kind puts our community at great risk and our office along with our law enforcement partners, will continue to investigate and remove those individuals from our streets that are involved in the illicit drug trade or any other criminal activity,” the sheriff said. “We take complaints about drug activity and drug dealers very seriously and will conduct investigations to ensure those who make a living selling drugs are put behind bars.”

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