In what is believed to be the largest meth bust in Ohio history, authorities confiscated 140 pounds of methamphetamines last month from a warehouse in Boston Heights.
Three men, including one from Cleveland and two from Mexico, are in custody facing charges of conspiracy to posess with the intent to distribute methamphetamine.
Keith Martin, Assistant Special Agent In Charge with the Drug Enforcement Administration, talked to Jasen about the bust, a recent large heroin bust on Route 8, their connections to Mexican drug cartels, and how the drugs continue to flow into our area.
We've already got the standards to worry about. Then this past summer we were introduced to fantanyl and carfetanil. Now, after some popularity in Florida and other places across the U.S., Northeast Ohio has another drug showing up on the streets; FLAKKA.
Medway DEA and Wooster Police seized 2 ouncese of the substance that was being delivered through the mail to a Wooster home. FLAKKA is chemically similar to bath salts, and can be snorted, smoked, or even injected. Side effects have been described as “excited delirium” that involves hyperstimulation, paranoia and hallucinations that can lead to violent aggression and self-injury.
No suspect information from the bust that happened January 11th in Wooster. Police say they'll release more information later.
Ohio House Bill 110, the "911 Good Samaritan Law," was signed by Governor John Kasich back in June and takes effect Tuesday.
The law offers immunity from prosecution to anyone who is trying to report a drug overdose, whether it be for themselves or someone else, and is actively seeking help. It covers people who are calling 911, trying to report to police or to a medical facility up to two times. The third time, the law states, would leave the person reporting the overdose open to being charged with drug offenses.
The Good Samaritan Law is one of several efforts being made in Ohio to curb drug addiction and overdoses that have spiked over the first half of 2016, especially over the past few months.
Read more about the law here.
The Ohio Department of Health has released their Unintentional Drug Overdose report for 2015, revealing a sharp increase in the number of fenatanyl-related deaths since 2013.
We are certainly no stranger to fentanyl-related overdoses, as locally in Summit County the number of overdoses reported to local emergency rooms have skyrocketed this year, most notably in June and July.
The Department of Health report indicates the number of fenatanyl-related deaths in the state rose more than doubled between 2014 and 2015. Meanwhile, overall drug overdose deaths rose from 2531 in 2014 to 3040 last year.
See the full report below:
(Columbus, OH) - The number of unintentional drug overdose deaths in Ohio increased again in 2015, driven by a sharp rise in fentanyl-related deaths, according to a new report released by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH). The number of fentanyl-related deaths in Ohio has increased from 84 in 2013, to 503 in 2014 and rose to 1,155 in 2015. Overall, drug overdose deaths in Ohio increased from 2,531 in 2014 to 3,050 in 2015.
The report also dramatically demonstrates the rapidly changing nature of the battle against drug abuse. As the state has worked with physicians to curb prescription opiate abuse, the number of prescription opiate overdose deaths have begun to level off.
“Ohio was one of the first states to see the rise of fentanyl over the past couple of years, as the opiate epidemic continues to evolve to more powerful drugs,” said Dr. Mark Hurst, medical director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. “We knew when we started this battle five years ago that progress wouldn’t be easy, but we are well prepared to stay on the leading edge of fighting this epidemic thanks to the multi-faceted strategies we have put into place.”
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic narcotic that is estimated to be 30 to 50 times more potent than heroin, and 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. The vast majority of fentanyl reports by law enforcement in drug seizures result from illegally produced and trafficked fentanyl, not diverted prescription fentanyl.
Last fall, Ohio requested assistance from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help better understand the increase in fentanyl-related deaths. CDC issued a report that provided insight into fentanyl-related overdose deaths in Ohio, and also noted that “the state has launched a comprehensive response” to address the issue.
The use of naloxone, the opiate reversal drug, has been vital to saving lives and that is why Ohio has increased funding to purchase naloxone for first responders through local health departments. In 2015, Ohio EMS personnel administered 19,782 doses of naloxone – 7,207 more doses than in 2013. More than one dose of naloxone may have been administered to a single patient to reverse the opiate overdose.
A targeted campaign to raise awareness about the signs of a drug overdose was launched in May to urge family members and friends of people who use drugs to obtain naloxone to administer during an overdose while waiting on first-responders to arrive. The campaign focuses on 15 Ohio counties that accounted for 80 percent of the state’s fentanyl-related overdose deaths in 2014.
“In the midst of this growing opiate epidemic, we are seeing positive indications that our aggressive efforts are working to reduce opioid prescription pain medications available for abuse,” said ODH Medical Director Dr. Mary DiOrio “There were 81 million fewer opioid doses dispensed to Ohio patients since the state took initiatives to curb opiates, and the number of people who try to get controlled substances from multiple doctors has dramatically decreased. Also, the percentage of prescription opioid-related deaths compared to all unintentional overdose deaths declined in Ohio for the fourth straight year.”
DiOrio attributes the decline in the number of opiates dispensed to Ohio patients with efforts to reduce the prescription pill supply, increased law enforcement efforts, empowering prescribers and pharmacists to use Ohio’s prescription drug monitoring system, the Ohio Automated Rx Reporting System, and working with medical professionals to establish opioid prescribing guidelines for healthcare professionals who treat chronic pain and acute pain.
“The state has been very aggressive in implementing new strategies to strengthen Ohio’s fight against opiates, but we are reminded today of the difficult road ahead as the epidemic evolves at a rapid pace,” said Andrea Boxill, the coordinator of the Governor’s Cabinet Opiate Action Team and deputy director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services. “In the face of the continued rise in drug overdoses, we believe that Ohio has one of the most comprehensive approaches in the nation to combatting opiate abuse and drug overdoses, and we will continue to evolve our efforts to address the changes that we are seeing in the drug market.”
A summary of the 2015 Ohio Drug Overdose Report is available here, and the full report is available here. A list of new strategies to combat the opiate epidemic, including fentanyl, is available here. A detailed list of Ohio’s past and ongoing efforts tackling the supply of drugs, preventing drug abuse before it starts, treating those who fall prey to drug addiction, and reversing drug overdoses with naloxone is available here.
A 29-year-old Cuyahoga Falls man is facing drug trafficking charges after detectives followed up on a search warrant and found psychedelic mushrooms in a Stone Street house.
Summit County Sheriff's deputies found a Psilocybin Mushroom grow operation, including about a pound of the controlled substance, three handguns and a loaded shotgun.
Jack Kennedy, 29, of Cuyahoga Falls, has been charged with drug trafficking and possession. He was booked into the Summit County Jail.
Additional charges are pending the outcome of the investigation.
Akron police recovered 23 guns and thousands of prescription pills during a traffic stop Monday.
Police say they ran a random registration check on a vehicle parked in a Romig Road nightclub, and picked up warrants on the vehicle owner on charges including outstanding warrants to include drug abuse marijuana, obstructing official business and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Akron police say they peeked into the car, saw ammunition, and took the driver into custody after being told there "might be" a rifle in the car.
Officers then found 23 guns, holsters, ammunition, marijuana and and a number of prescription medications.
Of the 23 weapons inside, police say two were confirmed stolen, and they're checking on the other 21.
Ryan Peltan of Doylestown and Derik Snell of Rittman (pictured: courtesy Akron Police Department) are facing a list of charges.