LEBANON, Ohio - There's a chance as you drive around the Tri-State you may be sharing the road with drug couriers.
But, law enforcement agencies are joining forces to crackdown on that drug activity.
It's the first partnership like this in the region. Police are using the collaboration to increase their presence on interstate highways in Warren County.
Since canine units are instrumental in drug interdiction, the departments will concentrate the dog units to increase drug enforcement.
Police say they have noticed a disturbing trend.
"We as a division seized more heroin in the first 4 months of 2012 than we did combined for the last 3 years running," said Capt. Richard Fambro with the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
A couple weeks ago police stopped a car along I-71 with a hidden compartment. Inside police found a stash of five kilos of heroin.
Canine units are specially trained to sniff out illegal drugs.
State Trooper Scott Fox has worked with "Muki", a Dutch Malinois for three years.
"He's not only certified in narcotics but he's also certified in tracking and criminal apprehension," said Trooper Fox.
"Within the last couple years we've added two canines to southwest Ohio," said Capt. Paul Hermes with the OHSP. "This allows us by working with the sheriff's department and the task force to expand our ability and cover more roadways and more areas at the same time."
Law enforcement officials say drugs passing through Warren County are headed to other Ohio cities as well as the east and west coasts.
Warren County Sheriff Larry Sims said the enforcement effort will allow the agencies "to focus all of our resources, combined resources to identify those drug traffickers and couriers that are bringing illicit drugs and or money from southwest border states outside of our country into Warren County. "
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