Chief: Middletown busts target ring that supplies up to half city’s drugs

Middletown police collaborated with multiple agencies to serve warrants and make an arrest this morning in a bust of what the chief calls a “drug ring” that supplies as much as half of the drugs in the city.

Middletown, in conjunction with the Assistant United States Attorney Karl Kadon, the FBI, ATF, Butler County Drug Task Force, and the Warren County Drug Task Force have been conducting an investigation into a drug trafficking ring in the Middletown area, police said.

Middletown Police Chief Rodney Muterspaw said the “drug ring” is believed to have a direct or indirect connection to the homicides of Teresa Shields, Benny Barefield, Kapriece Fuller and others.

Benwan Edwards of Middletown was taken into custody this morning by federal agents. More arrests are forthcoming, Muterspaw said. Guns and drugs were also confiscated as the search warrants were executed, police said.

“It was a big day for us,” Muterspaw said this morning.

Muterspaw said those who will be arrested are responsible for supplying half of the drugs in the city.

All of the agencies participated in serving federal search warrants this morning at: 826 16th Ave., Middletown; 6930 Mt. Vernon, Apt. 9, Middletown; 6880 Brandywine, Apt. 12, Middletown; 806 17th Ave., Middletown; 2703 Roosevelt Blvd., Middletown; 1901 Circle Kelly Jo, Middletown; 300 S. Sutphin St., Middletown; 925 Cleverly Road, Dayton; and 9167 Country Pond Trail, Miamisburg.

“Removing these dealers from society responsible for such pain in our community is a major accomplishment especially considering the recent loss we suffered at Grand Jury during the Benny Barefield homicide case,” Middletown police Major Scott Reeve said.

Muterspaw said Sgt. Jamie Wilcox and the Special Operations team worked on this for more than six months.

“We are really proud of them, not to mention our patrol officers who made a lot of this happen with great street work,” Muterspaw said. “With today and what’s coming next, if I was a dealer in this part of Ohio, I’d be looking over my shoulder for a long time. Get out. Leave. We don’t want you here and our directive is to do whatever it takes to put you away.

“We are so grateful for the Butler County BURN unit, the FBI, Homeland Security, ATF and Warren County Task Force for their teamwork approach to make this happen.”

This is an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information should contact Sgt. Wilcox at 513-425-7749.

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