67 Arrested in ‘Operation Meth Death’

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ASHTABULA COUNTY, OHIO – Dozens of homes were raided by deputies and officers in Ashtabula and Lake Counties Wednesday morning, where people were suspected of making methamphetamine.

Ashtabula County Prosecutor Thomas Sartini said 67 suspected meth-makers were arrested, in what is being called “Operation Meth Death.”

"We are not going to put up with this in Ashtabula County and we're going to prosecute them and they are going to go to prison," Sartini said.

Sartini said investigators were able to track these alleged meth-makers because one of the ingredients is used in making cold medicine, and in order to buy this particular type of cold medicine, you have to show your identification.

"We know who the people are and we had to go through the records and see how much they were buying and what time period they were buying and that kind of thing,” Sartini said.

Wednesday afternoon the 67 people arrested were arraigned in court.

"Teeth fall out, they're rotted. I mean methamphetamine is the most insidious, horrific drug of any of them," Sartini said.

Madison Twp. residents said meth use in the area is out of control among young people.

"I know it's rampant because of all the things that are going on here," said Ruth Pauley.

"That's all you ever hear around here. We've heard it down the street. We've heard it down the street on both sides. I don't understand why it's so crazy," said Vanessa Jones.

"Just rots your body out, from the inside out," Sartini said.

However, many of the suspects were back out on the street by the evening, including some facing felony charges.

An Ashtabula County court clerk told Fox 8 News that by mid-afternoon Wednesday, 29 of the suspects were already released from jail, without posting bond, on a written promise to continue to later appear in court.