Sunday, February 18, 2001

Eight arrested in OxyContin crackdown

By Jim Hannah
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — Police raided a Covington bar and made at least eight arrests — some for engaging in organized crime — early Saturday as part of a crackdown on the illegal sale of the drug OxyContin.

        The first target was Larry's All-American Cafe at Ninth and Philadelphia streets in Covington.

        Three people were arrested at the bar early Saturday and another five were picked up later at other loca tions, said Covington Police spokesman Jim Liles. A ninth person was arrested on charges unrelated to OxyContin.

        Mr. Liles said police were still searching late Saturday for additional suspects.

        He said the suspects were wanted in connection with the illegal sale of OxyContin, a powerful prescription drug used legally to combat chronic pain.

        Drug abusers often grind up the pills to sniff or inject the substance.

        Known by some as “the heroin of the Midwest,” the drug is one of the most abused prescription drugs in Greater Cincinnati. A single pill sometimes sells for as much as $40 on the street.

        The crackdown on Oxy Contin in Covington began early Saturday when officers from the Northern Kentucky Drug Strike Force raided the bar. The strike force consists of officers from several northern Kentucky police agencies.

        Mr. Liles said although none of the substance seized in the raid has yet been tested, the raid is part of a continuing investigation into the illegal sale and use of OxyContin in Northern Kentucky.

        Arrested Saturday were:

        • Deborah Ann Dove, 47, possession of a controlled substance;

        • Ruthie M. Browning, 48, trafficking a controlled substance, engaging in organized crime;

        • James Ivor Adams, 56, trafficking a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance (two counts), prescription container not properly marked;

        • Jeffery John Hale, 38, engaging in organized crime and trafficking in a controlled substance;

        • Stephen Wayne Hopkins, 49, engaging in organized crime;

        • Robert Edward Oldham, 51, trafficking in a controlled substance;

        • Daniel Christopher McHargue, 57, trafficking in a controlled substance;

        • Charles Herbert Lay, 43, engaging in organized crime.

        Earlier in the month, more than 200 people were arrested in Eastern Kentucky in connection with the illegal use and sale of the drug, which is often prescribed to cancer patients and others suffering extreme pain.


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