Task force seizes millions but drugs still flow into Dayton

Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer says the Miami Valley Bulk Smuggling Task Force has seized nearly $4.5 million in cash, plus drugs worth millions more, in three years.

But cocaine, meth and marijuana are now flooding the Miami Valley in “every facet you could possibly imagine” — stuffed in water heaters, fire extinguishers, children’s toys and even the human digestive tract.

>> MORE: Local drug trade 'bigger than we thought'

Law enforcement leaders say it’s a bigger problem than they thought. More than 100 gangs — some with hundreds of members — operate in Dayton and Montgomery County, and Mexican cartels are shipping in drugs and sending out cash.

Plummer said big seizures of drugs and money slow as drug traffickers change methods.

“We’re now getting cartel members buying homes in our communities,” Plummer said. “They’re getting away from hotels because we’re whacking them.”

The Dayton Daily News examined hundreds of documents in several current cases in Dayton’s U.S. District Court that shed light on the Miami Valley drug trade. Find out how drugs make it to your neighborhood in surprising ways.

>> READ THE INVESTIGATION: DEA officer calls Dayton a 'destination city' for drug couriers