Saturday, April 03, 1999

Police seek source for drug fliers

Information not backed up

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        BATAVIA — A flier being circulated in the area warning people about drug-laced stick-on tattoos is an apparent hoax, Clermont County Sheriff A.J. “Tim” Rodenberg Jr. said Friday.

        The flier also warns that flashing headlights at an oncoming car without its lights on is a drug gang tactic inviting retaliation. The fliers have shown up over the past few weeks at various schools, day care centers, offices and even in the Clermont County administration building, the sheriff said. One was reportedly posted in a day care center in Mason, he said.

        “Unless I receive some thoroughly credible information to the contrary, this is a hoax,” the sheriff said. “We urge anyone to contact their local law enforcement agency before posting this, or if they meet someone trying to circulate it.

        “We are trying to find the origin. We heard rumors it was (first) seen in a factory. Obviously, we know it could be, and has been, circulated by well-meaning citizens who do not know it ... is unsub stantiated,” the sheriff said.

        The sheriff said he found “almost the same wording” of the flashing headlight warning on an Internet site devoted to urban legends and folklore where it is listed as an “urban myth.” The flier — on 81/2-by-11-inch paper — has the words PLEASE READ at the bottom and claims to have originated with a police officer in a school DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program.

        The statewide DARE program is overseen by the Ohio attorney general. State officials told sheriff's investigators they have no knowledge of the flier or the information contained in it. Area DARE officers said they also are unaware of the flier or information, the sheriff said.

        Sheriff Rodenberg said the flier bears no law enforcement agency name or logo.


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