Bryce Montrea Hodges, 34, of Cincinnati has been sentenced in U.S. District Court to 230 months in prison for dealing drugs out of an apartment where children lived. He also illegally possessed firearms, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said.

The DOJ said the FBI, Warren County Drug Task Force, the DEA, and the Northeast Hamilton County Drug Task Force began investigating Hodges in January 2021.

DOJ says agents made five controlled buys of methamphetamine and fentanyl over a matter of weeks.

Investigators say they arranged a sixth purchase and arrested Hodges without incident when he showed up for the deal at a location on Springdale Pike in March 2021.

Investigators say they found a stuffed teddy bear in his car. Inside the teddy bear was a hidden compartment containing a plastic bag with approximately 72.5 grams of acetyl fentanyl.

Investigators say they searched Hodges’ apartment in Springdale. Several people, including children, lived there. Agents found a hidden compartment in a bathroom. DOJ says Hodges had stored a loaded handgun, more fentanyl and drug paraphernalia in the compartment. Agents say they also found a blender used to “cut” fentanyl when they searched a child’s bedroom closet.

A federal grand jury returned a nine-count indictment against Hodges in May 2021, charging him with five counts of illegal distribution of a controlled substance, two counts of possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, and one count each of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug offense and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Hodges pleaded guilty on October 12, 2021, to all counts charged in the indictment.