Investigations by Belmont County's Drug Task Force, lasting the better part of a year, resulted in eight arrest warrants being issued and four arrests being made on Wednesday.
Michael J. Jackson II, Benjamin D. Dobrich, Charles A. Clifford and Roger Lee Williams of Belmont County stand accused by police on various drug trafficking charges alleged to have happened within the county.
Task force commander Chief John McFarland, of the Martins Ferry Police Department, said his officers are seeing a disturbing trend in the county's drug trafficking. He said, "People have learned - it's a lot cheaper to buy heroin. You get the same type of high, and it's a lot cheaper. So what we have been dealing with a lot lately is a giant increase on the amount of heroin we're coming across, and the complaints we are getting."
He continued, "I don't believe there's a way to get off of heroin. I think once you get started on it you get hooked. I think eventually, you're just going to die from it, whether it be an overdose, or the effects it has on your body."
McFarland says the drug task force sees teenagers as young as 16-years-old involved in the drug trade.