On April 22, 2016 news spread quickly of the execution style murder dubbed the Ohio massacre . All 2,158 residents from the small community of Piketon, Ohio were rattled to their core. 8 family members of their home town had been brutally murdered in 4 separate homes.
According to Fox News:
All the victims were members of the Rhoden family: 40-year-old Christopher Rhoden Sr.; his 16-year-old son, Christopher Rhoden Jr.; 44-year-old Kenneth Rhoden; 38-year-old Gary Rhoden; 37-year-old Dana Rhoden; 20-year-old Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden; 20-year-old Hannah Gilley; and 19-year-old Hanna Rhoden.
Upon investigation, police found hundreds of marijuana plants in 3 separate commercial grade growing operations on the Rhoden’s properties. This didn’t come as a shock to the investigators as most residents in the area became dependent on illegal drug trafficking after other agricultural and timber industry jobs had dried up. The location of this rural town also makes Piketon,OH a hot spot of illegal drug activity. The terrain and growing climate make it a great hiding spot, and it’s location creates an easy delivery route to most major cities in the state and surrounding states.
There have been no arrests, and police have yet to release an official statement on their investigation, but sources have linked other similar operations in the area with the Mexican drug cartel. In 2012 the Piketon police destroyed over 1,200 marijuana plants hidden in the overgrown hills of Ohio. The nearby abandoned campsites were thought to belong to Mexican nationals.
An official report from the White House, released on January 24, 2014, stated that over $100 billion is spent annually by United States citizens on the combination of cocaine, heroin, marijuana, and meth. Heavy users are estimated to consume illegal substances 21, or more, days per month. About 1.6 million US arrests per year are attributed to illicit drugs. This large amount of drug trafficking has influenced the United States federal government to spend $15 billion annually on drug enforcement, and an estimated additional $25 billion is spent at the local level.
Despite this amount of money and man power focused on the “War on Drugs”, illegal homemade and homegrown drugs are still abundant in southeast Ohio. This has led community member, Lori Moore, to promote and support local recovery facilities.
Lori believes there is great hope for her’s and others’ communities if we support one another. She is convinced that if we can “Be the change we wish to see in the world”, that positive example will inspire those suffering to seek healthy assistance.