PIKE COUNTY, OH (FOX19) - Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader is warning residents about international gang members "taking out" believed snitches with a deadly drug.
The uncommon alert is based on "very limited intelligence" gathered through recent drug investigations, Reader wrote in a message posted to Facebook. A spokesperson with the sheriff's office confirmed it's an authentic message.
The gangs are seeking retaliation with a heavily-laced heroin mixture known as "Hotshot," Reader says. The drug could cause mass overdoses in Pike County and surrounding areas.
Reader's warning makes no mention of the Rhoden family massacre or whether the alleged gangs could be connected to the unsolved killings.
"MS-13, an international criminal gang and or Konvicted Family gang members are allegedly coming into Pike County this weekend. Possibly planning on "taking out" believed snitches and spread "HOTSHOTS" of heavily laced Heroin into the area that could cause an extremely large amount of overdoses in Pike County and surrounding counties," the message said.
The dangerous gangs are now allegedly trying to use their influence in Pike County as the Sheriff and his deputies crack down on the heroin epidemic. Pike County authorities are ramping up raids against dealers.
One of the raids happened on Taylor Hollow Road. deputies confiscated close to $10,000 and got 42 grams of heroin laced with fentanyl off the streets. Lt Burchett says more arrests are coming. "If you deal drugs in Pike County you might want to dye your hair and move out of state. We're coming to get you. We're not playing we're not going to have it in our community any longer."
Apparently this tough stance has the MS-13 gang and the Konvicted Family gang reacting. During recent drug investigations deputies learned that the gangs have possibly planned to "take out snitches" and release a highly fatal drug in Pike County and in surrounding areas. The Sheriff posted an alert warning residents on their Facebook page. "The rumor on the street is it's going to be something that they call hot shot heavily laced heroin," said Lt. Burchett.
Despite speculation and rumors, investigators have never linked gang activity to the 2016 shooting deaths of 8 family members.
FOX19 NOW has reached out to Sheriff Reader for more information about the safety warning.