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Investigators say pair brought kids to drug deal
COVINGTON, Ky. (Joe Webb) -- A Cincinnati couple is locked up and two children are now staying with relatives after all four showed up Thursday night at a heroin deal.
The northern Kentucky Drug Strike Force arrested Joseph Gunter and Shala Robinson in the parking lot of the Fort Wright Frisch's and discovered the two had brought along Gunter's six and eight-year-old daughters. What happened in that parking lot is a good indication of just how pervasive heroin has become. It doesn't just impact the dealers and users. It has a dramatic direct impact on children, legitimate businesses and it is stretching law enforcement to its limits.
Joseph Gunter and Shalah Robinson appeared before Judge Doug Grothaus Friday morning who described their charges as "peddling death with kids in the car." Thursday afternoon, police say the two were in the Fort Wright Frisch's parking lot delivering heroin to undercover narcotics agents.
Bill Mark of the Northern Kentucky Drug Strike Force said, "Much to our surprise yesterday, when he came to sell heroin to us he not only brought the heroin along, he had two small children in the car."
In the past two months, agents say Robinson had driven Gunter to other northern Kentucky locations and sold them heroin. They met in a public parking lots which have become the modern day drug market.
Rob Sanders, Kenton County Commonweath's Attorney, said, "Every interstate exit from the Ohio river south has been inundated with heroin possession and heroin trafficking arrests within a mile of that interstate exit."
It's not news that heroin is a huge northern Kentucky problem but Sanders illustrated that point Friday. Out of the 40 new felony cases generated in Kenton County last week, 30 of them are drug cases. 35 of the 40 are drug-related. All but a couple are heroin cases. Bill Mark says he's never seen anything like it and it's impacting everyone, including innocent little kids.
Gunter and Robinson are both charged with three counts of trafficking and two counts of wanton endangerment. Gunter has a previous trafficking conviction in Hamilton County and was just released from community control for that charge in March. Because of that, he's likely to be indicted in Kenton County as a persistent felony offender.
Police say the two children were in good shape and were released to a relative. Gunter and Robinson are being held on 50,000 dollar cash bond.
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