COVINGTON, Ky. -- At least one person faces charges related to trafficking Gray Death -- a powerful heroin-laced drug -- in Northern Kentucky, according to Assistant Chief Brian Steffen.
The charge is a part of a major drug bust in which more than 50 people face charges ranging from trafficking carfentanil to methamphetamine, according to Covington police.
The nine month investigation targeted narcotics dealers who are either Covington residents or visit Covington to sell drugs. Some of the cases occurred within 1,000 feet of a school, police said.
The suspects are charged with trafficking heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil, Gray Death, cocaine, crack cocaine and methamphetamine, police said.
Gray Death is seven times more potent than morphine, according to Hamilton County Coroner’s Office spokesman Terry Daley. It is typically light or gray in color and powdery. It got the name "Gray Death" because it can resemble cement.
Steffen said the drugs are among “the worst of the worst.”
“Heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil -- which is highly toxic and extremely dangerous -- not only to people who ingest it but to first responders who have to deal with it on the street,” Steffen said.
“Exposure on the skin, or inhalation on any one of those substances can overdose and kill a first responder, so it’s extremely important for us to get that stuff off the streets and to bring to justice the people who are bringing it into the community.”
Police Union President Sgt. Dan Hils said in May he's worried more first responders will accidentally overdoseon opioids after an officer was hospitalized for feeling sick and light-headed.
An East Liverpool officeraccidentally overdosed after he touched fentanyl in May. He was revived with four doses of Narcan.
Hamilton County Coroner Lakshmi Sammarco in May said anyone doing drugs in Greater Cincinnati is "really taking a gamble."
Gray Death surfaced last fall in Hamilton County, and it is often laced with heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil, furanyl fentanyl or acrylfentanyl, Sammarco said.
Some suspects will face multiple trafficking charges, and police will periodically release the names of those arrested.
“We’re not finished,” Steffen said. “We’re going to keep going until we round up all these individuals. They don’t know who they are but we do."
The following have been arrested:
- Larry Combs, of Covington -- Federal Drug Trafficking and Guns Charges
- James Combs, of Cincinnati -- Federal Drug Trafficking Charges
- Ryan Smith, of Cincinnati-- Federal Drug Trafficking Charges
- Shawnkil Lewis, of Cincinnati -- Federal Drug Trafficking Charges
- Amanda Ross, of Cincinnati -- Federal Drug Trafficking Charges
- Darrell Mason, of Park Hills, KY – Trafficking in Heroin
- Mark Morgan, of Cincinnati – Trafficking in Heroin and Carfentanil
- Heather Easterling, of Covington – Trafficking in Fentanyl
- Timmothy Figgs, of Covington – Trafficking in Heroin (2 Counts)
- Jondon Richardson, of Cincinnati – Trafficking in Crack Cocaine – 2 Counts
- Jennifer Soard, of Covington – Trafficking in Methamphetamine
- Ira Boles Jr., of Covington - Trafficking in Methamphetamine (3 Counts)
- Devanei Miller, of Covington – Trafficking in Heroin (5 Counts), Possession of a Handgun by a Convicted Felon
- Willie White, of Covington – Trafficking in Heroin (4 Counts)
Anyone with information should contact the Covington Police D-Team Vice/Narcotics Division at 859-292-2236.