The Republican National Committee hosted a press call Thursday with Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted and congressional nominee Max Miller (OH-07) to discuss border security, the fentanyl crisis, and crime.
A spokesperson for Lt. Husted told The Ohio Star, “The domestic supply of opioids from over prescribing pharma companies both production and distribution have largely ceased.”
According to Husted, the sheriffs and local police officers have driven the domestic supply of opioids in Ohio largely out of business. However, now Ohio is faced with the supply coming across the border.
Miller stated that fentanyl is pouring into the United States.
“About 90% of fentanyl comes from over the border,” Tricia McLaughlin said, Communication Director for Governor DeWine and Husted.
Husted noted that he and Governor DeWine have worked nationally and locally to fight the tide of drugs coming into Ohio.
In 2021, DeWine authorized 14 Ohio State Highway Patrol Officers to help Texas law enforcement with border surveillance and to protect the southern border of the U.S.
DeWine and Husted say that they are making strides to support local law enforcement as well. Thursday, Husted held the third in a series of round table discussions with sheriffs, prosecutors, and other city officials to determine how to best protect Ohio. The sessions have occurred in Delaware, Bowling Green, and Chillicothe.
A large concern in the state is the difficulty in maintaining and recruiting law enforcement officers. Without enough officers, it puts both them and the community at risk for drug infiltration.
“We are losing people in law enforcement. We are trying to let them know that they are supported,” said Husted.
With the lack of law enforcement available, the state can also lean on The Ohio Narcotics Intelligence Center established in 2019. This center can offer highly specialized analytical assistance through extracting and analyzing electronic devices, criminal case support, tactical, operational, and strategic intelligence support, trend analysis, cryptocurrency tracing, and dark web investigations. These elements can help law enforcement trace drug trafficking organizations back to the leaders and suppliers.
“It supports our drug task investigations,” said McLaughlin. “Frees up more of our officers. It’s more tailored support so we can be out patrolling the community and getting some of these drugs off of the street.”
While the battle against opioid drugs in Ohio is far from over law enforcement across the state is making progress in eliminating domestic opioid production and distribution.
Hannah Poling is a lead reporter at The Ohio Star and The Star News Network. Follow Hannah on Twitter @HannahPoling1. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Jon Husted” by Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted.