ICE sending agents to help combat Dayton's opioid crisis

ICE sending agents to help combat Dayton's opioid crisis (WKEF/WRGT)

DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - The federal government is stepping up in the fight against the opioid crisis in Dayton, saying Dayton will get its own full-time special agents.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) officials made the announcement Friday that those agents will specifically be focusing on the crisis and catching the bad guys,

"ICE is coming with everything we've got," Deputy Director Thomas Holman said.

"This is ground zero," he said. "ICE is 100 percent committed."

Standing with other officials from Ohio, Holman said the agency is ready to help the state in it's battle against opioid addiction.

"I am committed, the president is committed to this," he said.

Dayton and Montgomery County are known as the epicenter of the opioid crisis..

562 people died of an accidental overdose last year, and now Homeland Security is joining the fight.

"They stepped up when we said, 'You know what, we need resources in this community', and other agencies couldn't give it to us, Homeland Security stepped up," said Montgomery County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Rob Streck.

Two special agents are being assigned to Dayton this year.

"When you have the amount of issues we have with opiates and other drugs in this area, getting two bodies to work full time cases is important," said Streck.

The agents will work with the task forces, provide equipment and train officers to go after drug dealing over the internet and the dark net.

"With cyber money and bitcoins and everything else, it's just getting crazy. In the fight against drugs, it's a must have investigation skill for the future," he said.

This week ICE agents have been in the state training more than 300 law enforcement officials on the dark net and virtual currency, with the emphasis being on smuggling and distribution of fentanyl over the web.

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