83 arrested in massive Middletown warrant sweep

Posted at 6:49 PM, Mar 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-31 19:49:56-04

MIDDLETOWN -- More than 80 people were arrested Thursday in Middletown as part of a massive warrant sweep through the city.

Eighty-three people were arrested and 99 warrants were served on charges ranging from drugs to failure to appear in court, according to Middletown Police Chief Rodney Muterspaw.

The sweep -- conducted by the city's police department and the Butler County Sheriff's Office with assistance from U.S Marshals -- should show Middletown residents the department is "serious about cleaning the place up," he said.

"We are really happy with the success of this warrant sweep," Muterspaw said "Our goal was to serve as many as possible on those who have been evading court or jail, and we did just that."

Both felony and misdemeanor warrants were part of the one-day effort, and now the Middletown City Jail is full.

"It's full, but that won't last. Not after they start going before the judge," Muterspaw said.

Muterspaw said the warrants were those outstanding from Middletown Municipal Court and included everything from drug charges to failure to appear.

More than 50 law enforcement agents -- 20 police officers each from Middletown and the sheriff's office and 16 U.S. Marshals -- began serving warrants at about 7:30 a.m. until just after 3 p.m.

"We really appreciate working with the sheriff and the Butler County Sheriff's Office and we are excited to have this partnership with them," Muterspaw said. "We plan on doing even more together in the future."

Thursday's arrests demonstrate how effective policing efforts can be when personnel and resources are combined, Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones said.

"Criminals don't care about jurisdictional lines, and I look forward to working future operations with Middletown and other local police departments," he said.

Earlier this month, the Middletown Police Department joined the regional narcotics unit operated by the Butler County Sheriff's Office.

Middletown's five-officer Special Operations Unit will lend manpower to the Butler Undercover Regional Narcotics Taskforce (BURN), a multi-agency narcotics taskforce operated by the sheriff's office.

"Our Special Investigations Drug Unit will not lose any staffing with this change. We actually will be stronger now," Muterspaw told the Journal-News when the partnership was announced. "This is a crucial time in our city for this because now we will have not only have our own drug unit, but ties to two others regionally to combat drug trafficking in Middletown. Being in two counties and directly in the middle of I-75 puts us at a disadvantage. This opens major doors for us in a big way."