2021 RENU Stats: Increased Fentanyl, Meth Seizures Last Year

Although many eyes in 2021 were focused on the COVID-19 virus and its aftereffects, another health-related threat grew in intensity in Cincinnati. Fentanyl and methamphetamine have made a comeback in the area, with a 4x increase in meth seizures compared to 2020, according to the Regional Enforcement Narcotics Unit (RENU), a specialized unit within the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office. 

Anderson Township funds an officer through the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, working on the RENU team to target reduction of illegal drugs on the street. This position is part of Anderson’s contract with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, which also funds specialty officers who assist with crime prevention, community support and neighborhood issues, and traffic. 

Lt. Matt Guy, RENU commander with the Organized Crime Section and former District 5 Commander here in Anderson Township, reported the task force is “seeing significant increases in fentanyl and methamphetamine. Fentanyl seizures increased from 40 pounds in 2020 to 66 pounds in 2021. And that was after a record year was set in 2019.” 

“Meth seizures quadrupled during that reporting period going from 49lbs in 2020 to 211lbs in 2021,” he said. “We are seeing drug organizations set up shop in in the area, taking advantage of those members of the community who are susceptible to addiction,” he said. 

RENU officers investigate criminal organizations and persons who traffic controlled substances, as well assisting local, state and federal law enforcement agencies when requested. The township has funded a RENU officer for almost 10 years. 

RENU Drug and Forfeiture totals for 2021 

Cocaine - 9.7919 pounds

Heroin - 243.75 grams

Fentanyl – 30,043.978 grams

Marijuana – 1,074.8 pounds

Methamphetamine – 95,956.868 grams

MDMA (Ecstasy) -256.06 grams

Psilocybin Mushrooms - 489.6 grams

Seized Assets - $3,131,722.76