Lorain County designated a 'High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area'; DEA sending agents to help

DEA sending agents to help Lorain County
Posted at 6:00 AM, Aug 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-09 18:16:06-04

The illegal drug problem is getting so bad in Lorain County, federal agents are now joining the Lorain County Drug Task Force.

Heroin, fentanyl and now cocaine are expected to cause a record number of overdose deaths in Lorain County this year.

Not to mention addicts who commit crimes, because they desperately steal for money to buy drugs.

“We realize there's a drug problem out in Lorain County, we're working very closely with the Lorain County Drug Task Force," said Keith Martin, Special Agent in Charge of the Cleveland DEA.

Now, the federal government is stepping in to help crack down on the major drug suppliers.

Martin said the drug problem is growing so fast, in Lorain County they're sending three of their agents to help.

"It's actually a force multiplier, you have more agents out there. It helps supplement some of the resources for local departments that they might not have, and it also brings federal resources and it's working together as one team, one unit to eradicate the drug problem," Matin said.

"Our problems in Lorain County with overdoses and deadly overdose deaths is constantly rising,” said Dennis Cavanaugh with the Lorain County Drug Task Force.

Cavanaugh welcomes the reinforcements.

“Drug suppliers, that's who we are focusing our efforts on, those supplying the fentanyl and heroin and whatever else is causing these problems in our communities," he said.

The DEA has now designated Lorain County as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area.

That allows the task force to have federal funds to throw more resources at the problem including special surveillance equipment, even a small plane.

The DEA doesn't want to tip drug dealers to what the plane would be used for.

The agency expects with the increase in agents, more drug suppliers and dealers will be caught.

"We're not going to tolerate this. We're actually doing something about it. I want drug suppliers to know if you're going to deal drugs in Lorain County you're going to have a problem. We're going to come after you. We're going to put you in jail. We have a problem in the state of Ohio and in this country with heroin overdose, it's at record levels,” Martin said.

Besides the extra DEA agents, the sheriff is also adding more agents to the Lorain County Drug Task Force.

First responders have been called to 574 non fatal drug overdoses so far this year.

The number of deadly overdoses is 73.