Police: Major Hamilton drug arrest part of cooperation by agencies

Hamilton police are working with other drug enforcement agencies on operations similar to the one that netted a man police are calling a high-ranking drug dealer, Jonathan Ingram, on Monday.

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A drug investigation involving multiple law enforcement agencies, including the Hamilton Police Department and the Butler County Sheriff’s Office, led to the arrest of “one of the biggest drug dealers in the area,” Police Chief Craig Bucheit said.

He added that this is “just one of the many investigations,” the multiple law enforcement agencies have been working on in order to deal with drugs on the streets.

“There are plenty more to follow-up,” Bucheit said.

Neighborhood watch groups in the city and residents stepping up to provide credible tips to police helped in bringing Ingram to justice, and Bucheit said the effort will help law enforcement get more drug dealers off the streets.

“Information from the public is always vital,” Bucheit said. “We are out there on the streets everyday but the people who live in these neighborhoods see things and they know when things are out of place. Certainly information from the community helped in this case and helps in every case.”

Ingram, 55, along with his girlfriend Lauren Watts, 29, were arrested Monday after a months-long investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Butler County Regional Narcotics Task Force (of which Hamilton is part), and the D.A.R.T. Hamilton County Drug Abuse Reduction Taskforce.

After arresting Ingram, who is facing federal charges and is in federal custody, 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.

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The Journal-News canvassed the neighborhood on Thursday, and no one answered the door at any of the addresses.

The arrest of Ingram and seizures come as law enforcement is ramping up efforts to rid the streets of drugs, officials said.

“I am not sure what role his business played in this, but officers did search his business and two other locations, and the evidence was found in these locations,” Bucheit said.

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