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Middletown sees decline in deaths and overdoses since drug arrests

Middletown sees decline in deaths and overdoses since drug arrests (WKRC)

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (WKRC) - Middletown is still buzzing over the indictments of a dozen people linked to a Mexican drug cartel. Members are accused of bringing heroin and fentanyl into the city.

A police major and a local dependency therapist who've been waging the fight against opioids spoke up on Friday.


There was a sense of relief in Middletown the day after authorities announced the indictments of 12 people linked to a Mexican drug cartel. Members are accused of transporting heroin and fentanyl into Middletown.

For the past couple of years, the city has been hit hard by the opioid epidemic. Overdoses and deaths that were climbing are now declining. Middletown Police Major David Birk says officers have noticed a difference since agents have made arrests.

Federal agents say the heroin and fentanyl were brought to an apartment on Aaron Drive. It was basically a stash house. The drugs were cut up and distributed throughout Middletown.

I-75 has served as one of the major pipelines in to and out of Middletown. The cartel had established a cell there and recruited locals to help in the transport and sales of heroin and fentanyl. The indictments were welcome to those working to stem the epidemic.

John Widmer, with access counseling services, is a chemical dependency therapist. He says getting users off the street and off of drugs has been key to Middletown's fight against opioids.

What's important is that they are getting the help to stay drug free.

During Thursday’s news conference, US Attorney Benjamin Glassman said the arrests are in no way a "knockout" of the drug kingpins. He called it more of a “body blow.”

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