NORWOOD, Ohio -- Two men from Lucasville, Ohio were arrested Monday after, Norwood police alleged, they brought a 12-year-old cousin to Greater Cincinnati for a drug buy.
Derek Lee Bender, 29, faces one count of endangering children and one count of possessing drug abuse instruments. William Cody Bauer, 29, is charged with one count of endangering children, one count of drug possession and one count of possessing drug abuse instruments.
According to several criminal complaints filed by the Norwood Police Department, Bender had a syringe, and Bauer had syringes with residue as well as 20 tablets of Tramadol, an opiod pain reliever and Schedule IV controlled substance.
Great job 2nd shift patrol officers tonight. 2 suspects charged w/ serious drug & heroin trafficking offenses pic.twitter.com/MRf225vfc3
— Norwood Police (@NorwoodPD) December 28, 2015
According to Norwood police, the men drove to Hamilton County to buy heroin, and they already had the pills with them. They pulled off in Norwood to look at the drugs and shoot up, according to Sgt. Mark Vickers.
Norwood police allege the men told the girl they were going to a mall in Cincinnati.
"You could tell she was scared," Vickers said. "She was in a place she had never been before."
Law enforcement officials from six agencies -- Norwood Police Department, Clermont County Sheriff's Office, Adams County Sheriff's Office, Brown County Sheriff's Office and Ohio State Highway Patrol -- each gave her a ride part of the way back to Scioto County, more than 100 miles away.
"In the end, OSHP Troopers delivered her home safe and sound to her great-grandmother," according to a department Facebook post.
"It was idiotic, unthinkable to involve a 12-year-old in that type of activity," Vickers said. "Anything could have happened, and it could have been a very tragic outcome."
Bender and Bauer were booked into the Hamilton County Justice Center late Monday night and arraigned Tuesday morning. Bauer is being held on $13,500 bond at 10 percent, Bender at $1,000 at 10 percent.
According to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention earlier this month, Ohio saw an 18.3 percent increase in drug overdose deaths in 2014 compared with the prior year. In terms of sheer numbers, the state ranked second for overdose deaths, with more than 2,700. California had the most, with more than 4,500.