DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Pike County killings are shedding light on the region’s drug trade.
Attorney General Mike DeWine has commented that the marijuana plants found at three crime scenes were intended for commercial distribution. Now, some are pointing the blame of the murders at the Mexican drug cartel.
“I usually don’t comment on other people’s investigations, but they have had cartel problems out there in the past. It’s very volatile. They knew what they were doing, they took care of business. It seemed like a professional hit to me,” said Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer.
Plummer says locally the cartels presence is menacing and the main source for the Miami Valley’s heroin problem.
“We have three different cartels here that we know of for sure, all dealing with drug trafficking,” said Plummer.
- Sinaloa, Mexican cartel kingpin, El Chapo’s group
- Los Zetas
- Mexican mafia
“The Mexican mafia is typically the strong arm. That’s who protects the load, the dangerous ones who do the violence when it needs to be done. So, it’s here,” said Plummer.
For the sheriff’s office, Miller Lane in Butler Township has been the biggest arresting point for cartel members.
“I wish I could release the number on how many we encountered. It’s a lot. We pick a lot of them up at hotels, but now they are buying houses in our communities,” explained Plummer.
For Plummer pushing cartel out of the Miami Valley has become a personal mission.
“They threaten my detectives, they know where their kids live. This is a whole new level that we’re not used to dealing with,” said Plummer.
The Rhoden murders aren’t the first time the cartel has been mentioned in Pike County. In 2012, investigators found 1,200 marijuana plants and two campsites suspected to be owned by Mexican nationals.
DeWine’s office has not confirmed or denied whether the cartel is connected to the Rhoden killings.