12 suspects face federal charges of conspiracy to possess or distribute drugs


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ATHENS, Ohio (WCMH) — Twelve suspects in central Ohio are in custody, having been charged in a federal drug trafficking sting.

Authorities executed the arrest warrants Tuesday in Franklin and Athens counties.

Four of the people charged with Conspiracy to Possess or Distribute Over 100 Grams of Heroin are from Franklin County and the other eight reside in Athens County. Sentencing guidelines call for a minimum five-year sentence and maximum 40-year sentence.

Officials say the arrests are the result of a 17-month collaboration between the Fairfield-Athens Major Crimes Unit, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, and the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Athens County Sheriff Rodney Smith explained how the alleged trafficking operation worked:

“This investigation targeted a drug trafficking operation responsible for supplying large quantities of heroin from Franklin County to Athens County,” Sheriff Smith said. Traffickers and users from Athens County drove to Columbus, sometimes daily, to bring heroin back for use and sale in Athens County and surrounding areas.”

The sheriff’s office says it’s not releasing further details at this time due to the ongoing investigation.

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