Covington Police Hunt for 42 Suspected Drug Dealers
UPDATE (Friday 10:00 a.m.): The Covington Police Department reports that 21 suspects have been arrested in this drug sweep. Nine of those suspects were arrested the week before due to other circumstances. The department posted at its Facebook page, "We will be hunting for the remaining 21 suspects over the weeks to come. If you deal drugs in Covington, now is a good time to look over your shoulder."
A large scale hunt for drug dealers launched in Covington Thursday afternoon and The River City News was invited to accompany Covington Police Chief Spike Jones as the search got underway.
Forty-two warrants were issued and members of the police department (including the SWAT team), the Kenton County Commonwealth's Attorney Office, the Drug Enforcement Agency, and a National Guard helicopter were all part of the city-wide execution of the warrants.
Of the 42 suspects, Chief Jones said sixteen were Covington residents, thirteen live in Cincinnati, and another thirteen have unverified addresses but are likely from the north side of the Ohio River.
"This is a combination of information derived from our residents that they have identified as trouble areas," Jones said. The chief said that neighbors often see unseemly activities taking place and while it may seem as though police response is slow to the scene, he often can't tell residents of the department's plans until the day of a sweep like the one launched Thursday.
The investigation into the suspects being looked for Thursday began three months ago and most of the wanted people deal in heroin, cocaine, and prescription drugs. Many of them have prior records and are repeat offenders, Jones said.
The first suspects taken into custody were busted at a home on the 1500 block of Holman Avenue and then simultaneously around the corner on Banklick Street a car that was believed to be wanted in one of the cases was stopped. That car proved to be unrelated to the case but a woman who lives on Fourteenth Street approached the scene to ask what the traffic stop was about only to have an officer recognize her as a suspect and take her into custody.
This story will be updated.
Written by Michael Monks, editor & publisher of The River City News