WILMINGTON, Ohio -- More than 70 people face charges after a major drug investigation in Wilmington and the surrounding area.
The Wilmington Police Department said before it launched the investigation, the area experienced a 632 percent increase in overdose-related calls for service in the last 18 months.
Officials said secret indictments were returned Monday by the Clinton County Grand Jury on 47 people.
These indictments ranged from felony first-degree engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity to trafficking in drugs, a felony of the fifth degree. Police also charged another 25 people with attempted possession charges.
The scope of the investigation included Wilmington, much of Warren and Clinton counties and even went as far as Dayton.
It took several agencies, including the FBI, DEA and the Greater Warren County Drug Task Force to conduct the operation.
The department said the sting included multiple undercover operations, surveillance and multiple confidential sources to bring the operation to fruition.
At the end of the investigation, search warrants were executed in Wilmington and Dayton.
Police said during the course of the investigation, it became clear they were dealing with a large-scale drug operation with a hierarchical structure.
Once the FBI was brought in, investigators said the investigation grew to include several counties and other states.
During the investigation, police said they seized the following amounts of drugs:
- Cocaine 951.59 grams
- Heroin 79.4 grams
- Meth 132 grams
- Fentanyl 2.05 grams
- Marijuana 4,983 grams
Officers said some of the targets of the investigation bragged about the quality of the heroin they pedaled and admitted it had killed people.
The investigation also targeted welfare fraud and officers said the indictment of several of the people who were arrested will have Clinton County more than $100,000 per year.
Agents said local food stamps were sold 50 cents on the dollar in trade for narcotics.