A five-year drug investigation culminated Tuesday with the arrests of 18 “mid-level” drug dealers in Sandusky, Ottawa and Wood counties.
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine joined DEA agents, Sandusky County Sheriff Kyle Overmyer, Ottawa County Sheriff Steve Levorchick and Fremont police Chief Tim Wiersma to announce the news in a celebratory press conference at the Sandusky County Sheriff’s Office.
All claimed a hand in the investigation, which netted about $100,000 worth of mostly cocaine and crack-cocaine, DeWine said.
“This is a classic example of how to do it,” DeWine said. “This was a wonderful, cooperative effort.”
Said Wiersma: “It was wonderful to see everybody arrested. (At times) it seemed like it was never going to be over ... I’m happy it’s finally over.”
Said Overmyer: “Today was truly a great day in all of our counties. It was a great team effort.”
And Levorchick: “It was a great day today to take all these drug dealers off the street.”
Since 2007, undercover agents made 24 drug buys in Sandusky County, six in Ottawa County and four in Wood County, DeWine said.
Over the past several weeks, the cases were presented before grand juries in each respective county.
The end result: 34 alleged dealers indicted on 114 separate drug charges.
Eighteen alleged dealers were arrested Tuesday, while another five were already in state prison. Two others have been served their charges but not arrested yet, while another nine are still on the loose.
“It sends a message: ‘Don’t come here cause we won’t tolerate it — all of us will team up again together and, guess what, we’re going to get rid of you and we’re not going to stand for it,” Overmyer said. “We mean business and we stand for it together — the DEA, the attorney general, the sheriff and the chief.”
It’s unclear if the alleged drug dealers were in league together, or if all the cases are unrelated.
DEA agent Rodel Babasa said the seized drugs were coming from Mexico.
“I can tell you it has direct ties to the southwest border,” Babasa told a small gathering of news crews at Tuesday’s conference. “For Sandusky and Ottawa counties it is significant. Would it be significant at a federal level? Probably not.”