Northern Ohio Will Use $700,000 to Fight Drugs!

Northern Ohio Will Use $700,000 to Fight Drugs!
Posted by FoM on June 15, 1999 at 09:36:19 PT
Summit, Stark counties to benefit!
WASHINGTON The federal government is sending new funding to northern Ohio, including Summit and Stark counties, to help fight the war on drugs.
The region will benefit from $700,000 in funding this year to cover start-up costs for special task forces that will be set up throughout a five-county area.A key component of the new initiative will be for local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to work together, sharing information through state-of-the-art communications systems, about illegal drug activities and suspected criminals.Now that it has been designated a so-called High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, the region could qualify for over $2 million in annual funding in the years to come.``We're hoping next year our base funding will be at $2.6 million,'' said Joseph Persichini, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI's Cleveland office. ``The primary focus and the real mission is to target and dismantle drug trafficking organizations.''The areas that will be targeted by the money, in addition to Summit and Stark, are Cuyahoga, Lucas and Mahoning counties. An official announcement is expected in Washington today. ``This federal commitment sends a clear message to drug traffickers who prey on Ohio's young people -- your days are numbered,'' said Sen. Mike DeWine, R-Ohio.DeWine lobbied for nearly two years to win special designation for the northern Ohio region that would allow it to tap into HIDTA resources administered by the Office of National Drug Control Policy.With major traffic arteries such as Interstates 77, 71 and 76 coursing through the region, northern Ohio has become a major gateway for interstate and international drug trafficking, DeWine spokesman Charles Boesel said in explaining why DeWine sought to win the funding.Gang-related violence connected to drug use is another concern, as well as the emerging sophistication of drug traffickers, Persichini said.``Technology isn't just affecting commerce and the economy,'' he said. ``We're looking at technology as it relates to the drug war. This will give us the capability to purchase state-of-the-art equipment.''In time, Persichini said, the program could expand to include special task forces assigned to monitor activity at airports and ports. For now, the focus will be on setting up a task force in each of the five counties using local, state and federal law enforcement officials. In addition, there will be a 16-member executive committee and a director to oversee the effort.Each task force will have access to computers and other equipment that will allow it to share and analyze data. It has yet to be decided where centers will be set up in Stark and Summit counties.However, Cleveland will be the site of a central intelligence center that will connect the individual county sites, Persichini said.``The ultimate goal is to decrease violent crime, decrease the drugs on the street and improve the quality of life in our communities,'' he said, adding that he hopes communities will see this as a positive.``The government is not saying you are in critical shape as it relates to drug trafficking. Rather, we've identified some needs and taken advantage of the program ONDCP offers to help.''
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Comment #1 posted by Ellen Kimble on July 03, 2000 at 15:02:09 PT:
Austintown Township - Reported Crack House 
Reports have been made to the local Austion Police Department since June of 1998 to no avail. The property is owned by Charlotte Galterio of 286 N. Beverly, Austintown, OH 44515. Drug activity began when this single mother of Robert Galterio, age 15, lost her job. The drug activity has increased with continual parties, nonstop traffic to the house (exchange of items through car windows), teenagers and adults unknown to this neighborhood, cars parked the entire block and teenagers on foot. Several parents have asked me whether I've seen their kids or know where Robbie Galterio lives. People passed out in that yard, beer bottles broken in the street. We've seen cars pull up and alcohol taken inside. Local police insist they cannot enter the house and won't even stop the cars as they leave the house. A police scanner is being used to avoid being caught, because the house empties out within 2 minutes of speaking to the dispatcher. Drugs are being sold and there is possession of drugs and alcohol. The few times loud parties were broken up or other parents called police to get their own kids out of the house, the owners son was told to page his mother or call her on her cell phone and police made her come home-they don't even make his mother come home now. Lately 3 of the teenagers are showing up at my house, tapping on the windows at night and asking my 2 teenagers for cigarettes; 1 named John Acuri has been here 3 nights in a row, after the 1st night he was told to leave and not return. Robert (Robbie) and his mother Charlotte Galterio know that I as well as other neighbors have called police repeatedly and they are attemting now to have as much contact with my 2 teens so it looks as if my house is involved-I assure you, we are not involved and want it stopped! I've told local police they could set up video from my residence in order to make an arrest or I'd even write the license plate numbers so they could get the cars leaving, they don't care! That house should be raided with both mother and son arrested (we think she is subsidizing the lost income from her job because of the time frame involved)and anyone connected to it or there at the time. Local authorities tell me they can't stop it which is the reason I'm writing today.    
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