COLUMBIANA COUNTY, Ohio -- Nearly 100 people were indicted on 756 charges in a drug trafficking ring involving the overdose of an East Liverpool officer who came into contact with fentanyl.
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Authorities began serving arrests warrants as part of Operation Big Oak (breaking into gangs/opiate addiction knockdown) starting Monday.
Investigators say the drug trafficking organization allegedly funneled the equivalent of approximately one million potentially fatal doses of carfentanil and 350,000 potential fatal doses of fentanyl into Columbiana County alone.
“The amount of fentanyl and carfentanil that this drug trafficking organization allegedly brought to this area was enough to kill every single person in Columbiana County, plus every man, woman, and child in 11 other nearby counties,” said Attorney General DeWine.
The ring allegedly operated between Cuyahoga and Columbiana counties since 2014. Three Cuyahoga County man, who are the alleged ringleaders, are accused of operating the ring as part of the "Down the Way" street gang. A fourth ringleader from Cuyahoga County was also arrested.
The four allegedly sold the drugs to dozens of mid-level traffickers who then sold them to Columbiana County. There are a total of 51 alleged mid-level traffickers. Forty-five lower-level suspects were also indicted.
Two of them have been charged with felony assault for allegedly exposing East Liverpool Police Officer Chris Green to fentanyl during a May 2017 traffic stop. Green survived the exposure after being revived with four doses of naloxone.