BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio - An undercover drug investigation resulted in the arrest of 18 people from various areas in Butler County on Wednesday.
The multi-month investigation targeted marijuana, prescription drug and heroin abusers in the county, according to a press release from the Butler County Sheriff's Office.
"These types of drugs are highly addictive and have created significant increases in robberies, burglaries and assaults," Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones said. "Individuals addicted to these drugs commit these types of crimes to fuel their habits. We have to be vigilant in our efforts to keep our communities safe and we have to work together to achieve that common goal."
Below is the list of individuals taken into custody Wednesday:
- Kenneth Baker, 35, of Hamilton
- Barbara J. Bellamy, 29, of Hamilton
- Mandy Childers. 30, of Hamilton
- April Flannery, 24, of Hamilton
- Quentrell Heard, 35, of Hamilton
- Victoria Heard, 32, of Hamilton
- Casey Kilgore, 21, of Liberty Township
- Lynn Ledford, 33, of Fairfield
- Marti Lingar, 28, of Fairfield
- Brandi Meyer, 24, of Fairfield
- Chris Murray, 35, of Camden
- Willie Prater, 41, of Hamilton
- Sarah M. Stewart, 29, of Hamilton
- Dan Thomas, 41, of Liberty Township
- David Tipton, 43, of Middletown
- Roy Dean Lester Jr., 31, of Hamilton
- James Butler, 35, of West Chester
- Joseph Simms, 31, of Hamilton
Charges for those arrested range from fraudulent drug advertising to tracking in drugs to possession of drugs.
In total, 24 suspects from Camden, Middletown, Hamilton, Fairfield, Liberty Township, West Chester Township and Preble County were secretly indicted. The names of the people indicted who were not arrested Wednesday were not released.
Information gathered throughout the investigation led to a raid of a residence located at 105 North Seventh St. in Hamilton, where approximately marijuana, pills, needles, scales, approximately six grams of marijuana and several hundred dollars in cash were seized.
Butler County law enforcement officials say they've arrested more than two dozen people during drug busts in April.
On Wednesday, April 18 , five men were arrested after officers say they found five pounds of marijuana, prescription drugs and thousands of dollars in cash during an investigation.
"What you've seen in the last week, I think, is a serious attack on some of the high-level drug dealers and it's going to continue," said Lt. Mike Craft with the Butler County Sheriff's Office.
Officers served 19 search warrants in the Hamilton area earlier in early April that resulted in the seizure of $1 million worth of synthetic marijuana and $250,000 in cash.
The Butler County BURN Taskforce, the Sheriff's Office and law enforcement agencies from all the aforementioned jurisdictions assisted in the investigation. Officials said the investigation has spanned multiple months and in some cases up to a year.
Stay with 9 On Your Side and WCPO.com for updates to this developing situation.