WILMINGTON — Four Greene County residents were among those charged late last week in an alleged drug ring.
Forty people were arrested, three cars were seized and various amounts of cash and drugs were confiscated according to authorities.
Wilmington Police Chief Duane Weyand, who spoke at a press conference in Warren County Friday morning, said officers also confiscated black tar heroin, a rare form of heroin that has only been seen once before in Clinton County. The investigation was a collaborative effort conducted by the Wilmington Police Department and the Greater Warren County Drug Task Force. Seventy-two individuals were charged as a result of the investigation that lasted more than one year. Some of the individuals have yet to be taken into custody.
Among those charged were:
• Josephine Davis, Fairborn: Engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, first-degree felony; trafficking in cocaine, fifth-degree felony and illegal manufacture of drugs, second-degree felony.
• Jahad Abdul Hakim, Xenia: Trafficking in heroin, fifth-degree felony.
• Trent Swift, Xenia: Engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, second-degree felony; trafficking in cocaine, fifth-degree felony and aggravated trafficking in drugs, fifth-degree felony.
• Phillip Davis, Fairborn: Engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, first-degree felony; trafficking in cocaine, fifth-degree felony; aggravated trafficking in drugs, fourth-degree felony and illegal manufacture of drugs, second-degree felony.
The investigation began with several drug purchases originating from the Wilmington area leading to Dayton. In the midst of the operation, investigators found a large-scale drug operation organized in a hierarchical structure indicating a widespread problem spanning multiple counties, according to the WPD.
The hierarchical structure became known as the Marlena Park Gang, a reference to a park in southeast Wilmington.
Weyand told the News Journal the investigation took longer than what he would like because the WPD had learned that many people were bringing drugs into the community and “we were trying to solve that problem and send a message to the drug traffickers of Dayton, Columbus or Greene County that we’re going to come after you, and we proved that by executing search warrants in other counties stemming from this investigation.”
He said the operation was made possible through multiple tips made by concerned citizens.
“We apologize that we couldn’t act quicker on some of these because it acted on such a large-scale drug operation, but we’re grateful to have such community support to call this stuff in.”
Weyand said his department received a lot of positive feedback from the community while law enforcement personnel were out executing search warrants Thursday.
The police department worked with multiple undercover operations involving surveillance, direct purchase of narcotics and multiple confidential sources in order to tackle the problem in Clinton County, a media release said. The contributing agencies included ACE Drug Task Force in Greene County, Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, Clinton County Sheriff’s Office, Dayton Safe Streets Task Force, the Dayton Drug Enforcement Agency office, the Cincinnati and Dayton Federal Bureau of Investigation offices and the Ohio Highway State Patrol.
Aly Shinkle can be reached at 937-382-2874, or on Twitter @alyshinkle.