LIMA — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, Allen County Sheriff Samuel Crish, Lima Police Chief Kevin Martin, and Allen County Prosecutor Juergen Waldick announced that two Allen County residents are facing multiple charges following what local investigators call one of the largest heroin seizures in Allen County history.
Marvin Thomas, 45, and Anthony Duvernay, 39, both of Lima, were arrested by members of the Lima Allen County Interdiction Task Force earlier this month, after an ongoing heroin trafficking investigation uncovered two kilos of heroin with an estimated street value of $330,000. Investigators believe the pair were involved in bringing the drugs into Ohio from out of state to distribute locally.
A special Allen County grand jury on Friday indicted both suspects on charges of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, trafficking in heroin, possession of heroin, and illegal manufacture of drugs, with several of the charges carrying major drug offender and forfeiture specifications. Thomas is also facing an additional charge of having weapons while under disability.
The Lima Allen County Interdiction Task Force, which is made up of officers with the Allen County Sheriff’s Office and Lima Police Department, was created last year as part of the Ohio Attorney General’s Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission (OOCIC) in an effort to stop the flow of heroin and other drugs along I-75 through Allen County. The task force is funded by more than $500,000 in grants issued as part of the Ohio Attorney General’s Safe Neighborhoods Initiative.
“Those who choose to bring heroin into Ohio’s communities are taking a great risk because investigators on task forces like the Lima Allen County Interdiction Task Force are watching,” said Attorney General DeWine. “Investigators across the state are working hard to confiscate heroin, keep it away from those suffering from addiction, and hold traffickers accountable for their crimes.”
“Heroin is both illegal and extremely dangerous. The seizure of this massive quantity of heroin demonstrates what can be achieved by multiple law enforcement agencies working together,” said Allen County Sheriff Samuel Crish. “This seizure is a win for local law enforcement and a win for the people of Allen County. The Allen County Sheriff’s Office will continue to devote every available resource to this ongoing fight against drug trafficking in our community.”
“This very large seizure of heroin kept this incredibly dangerous drug from reaching the streets of our community, where it would have very likely resulted in the deaths of many people,” said Lima Police Chief Kevin Martin. “This seizure would not have been possible without the cooperative efforts of multiple law enforcement agencies. The cooperation and collaboration of the officers from the various agencies serves as an example to everyone and demonstrates what can be accomplished when we work together.”
“Over the last year we have seen an incredible increase in heroin abuse. That abuse has caused a historic upswing in theft offenses, home invasions as well as tragic loss of life. Recently our multi-agency task force was able to intercept a very large quantity of heroin bound for the streets of our community. The seizure was made possible through the tireless efforts and dedication of the members of the task force. They should be commended for a job well done,” said Allen County Prosecutor Juergen Waldick.
The case is still under investigation, and authorities anticipate additional indictments and arrests in connection with the case in the future. Prosecutors with the Allen County Prosecutor’s Office will prosecute the case.
Authorities with the West Central Ohio Crime Task Force, Ohio State Highway Patrol, and Federal Bureau of Investigation assisted with the investigation.
Established in 1986, the Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission assists local law enforcement agencies in combating organized crime and corrupt activities. The commission is comprised of members of the law enforcement community and is chaired by the Ohio Attorney General. In 2014, authorities working in OOCIC task forces across the state seized more than $23 million worth of drugs and more than $5 million in U.S. currency.