Newly appointed U.S. Attorney of the Southern District of Ohio Dave DeVillers says he's already met with Cincinnati's police chief and briefly with Hamilton County's prosecutor. He's offering help in the crackdown on violent crime.
Following a summer spike in drugs, guns and unsolved murders in Cincinnati, DeVillers says his officers will assist Chief Eliot Isaac and Prosecutor Joe Deters. "The priority right here in Cincinnati right now is violent crimes. I think we've been able to do a lot with guns - in particular, firearms - but we want to get more involved in the cold-case homicides," he told WVXU.
He's also concerned about the increasing availability of dangerous prescription drugs. DeVillers says fake Percocet is being made locally. "You got some schmo in his basement mixing fentanyl or carfentanil, cutting it with aspirin and that guy is not going to be any good at it." DeVillers says just a small dose of such a mix could kill you.
DeVillers is no stranger to violence. As a former Franklin County prosecutor, he was chased by hitmen hired by a gang. "I was driving home, noticed I was being followed, then noticed I was being chased. During the high-speed chase, I went right to a police substation right near my house."
That turned out OK but he and his family had to be under SWAT surveillance for a year. In 2006, he helped prosecute Saddam Hussein and others for crimes against the Kurds.
DeVillers also spent time as a legal advisor to the Republic of Georgia and combatted terrorism and corruption in Ukraine, Albania, Bangladesh, Kyrgyzstan and Azerbajjan.
In 2016, he prosecuted the largest federal murder case in Ohio's history. Twenty members of the Short North Posse were charged with the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and 14 separate murders. Each defendant was convicted on all counts.
DeVillers replaces Ben Glassman, who resigned effective Nov. 1.