Small town, big drug problem


    UNION CITY, Ohio (WRGT) -- Several small towns around the Miami Valley are experiencing the same drug epidemic as the larger metropolitan areas. Interstates 70 and 75 are commonly referred to as the "Crossroads of America." But, police see it as a delivery route for drugs that are killing people and communities.

    Cheri Davis lives in Union City, Indiana, and knows the pain of watching her son's life spiral out of control.

    "I'm sorry," said Davis as she tried to fight back tears. "I did a lot of that today."

    Her son, Kyle Hartman, was arrested earlier this week during a police drug raid on her home. She said police found drugs hidden behind her washer and dryer.

    "He's been addicted for years," she said. "He just did 2 1/2 years at Randolph County jail. Come out was clean for a couple weeks and went back."

    The Union City police departments in Ohio and Indiana have conducted back-to-back drug raids Tuesday, May 3, 2016, and Wednesday, May 4, 2016. According to Chief Cobie Wells of Union City, Indiana, investigators found marijuana, heroin, syringes, scales and more.

    "In fact, one of the individuals was just getting ready to use," said Chief Wells. He said many drug abusers are poly-drug users, meaning they use several different types of drugs. But, they sell the drugs, too, by mixing different drugs together.

    "They'll use that to cut the heroin so that they can sell more of it. And, that's what's happened in this instance," said Chief Wells.

    He works closely with Interim Chief Mark Ater of Union City, Ohio. The two cities are only separated by a state line. Train Park recognizes the uniqueness of the community that straddles two states. But, Chief Ater says his officers often have to sweep the park for used drug syringes.

    "The drug problem here in Union City is bad," said Chief Ater. "We have a lot of, of course, marijuana. And then, we're also experiencing trouble with heroin and also methamphetamines."

    Enforcement is up in Union City with more drug raids taking place. Police say the small-time dealers in their town know where to find cheap suppliers.

    "The heroin is coming up from the Dayton area," said Chief Ater.

    Meanwhile, Cheri Davis says putting her son behind bars again is the best thing for him right now.

    "Because I'd rather have him sitting behind bars in jail, than carrying him out in a body bag. It's hard. It really is hard," she said as tears filled her eyes again.

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