A drug investigation involving multiple law enforcement agencies, including the Hamilton Police Department and the Butler County Sheriff’s Office, has led to the arrest of “one of the biggest drug dealers in the area,” police said.
A months-long investigation culminated late Monday evening with the arrest of Johnathan Ingram, 55, of Hamilton, according to Hamilton Police Chief Craig Bucheit.
“The investigation has unfolded over the past several months and included local, state and federal law enforcement agencies including the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Butler County Regional Narcotics Task Force, which Hamilton is a part of, and the D.A.R.T. Hamilton County Drug Abuse Reduction Taskforce also was part of the investigation,” he said.
After arresting Ingram, two homes at 128 Beckett St. and 81 Beckett St. and one business at 811 Central Ave. in Hamilton were raided, according to Bucheit.
Searches at those locations resulted in the seizure of 1.3 kilograms of cocaine, five guns and nearly $20,000 in cash, police said.
“This arrest and seizures represents a major victory for us in our ongoing efforts to keep our communities safe and secure. To keep guns and drugs off our streets,” Bucheit said.
Ingram has been transferred to federal custody and will be arraigned Tuesday, police said.
“The actual charge will come at a later date,” Bucheit said. “We are waiting for the assistant United States prosecutor to determine the actual charges.”
He added that “1.3 kilos is a significant amount of drugs for us to get off the streets. It had a street value of well over $50,000.”
One of the homes raided was Ingram’s residence, according to police.
Bucheit noted that the cocaine seized really wasn’t a deviation from the focus on the opioid problem.
“Cocaine has never left and has always been a part of the drug scene and meth was part of the seizure as well,” he said. “Ingram was involved in multiple trafficking of narcotics.”
Bucheit called Ingram a “major player” in the local drug dealing scene.
“This arrest is as big as it gets for us and this community,” he said. “It is hard to get a real true clear picture of what the drug organizations look like, but he was a major player.”
Ingram has a criminal history that includes violence, drugs and other criminal activities according to court records.
His girlfriend, Lauren Watts, 29, was also arrested. Police did not released information about her alleged involvement.