Authorities charge dozens in drug bust

CIRCLEVILLE, Ohio (AP) — Authorities have charged dozens of people in a drug bust that focused mainly on alleged mid-level heroin traffickers in central Ohio.

The charges announced Wednesday allege drugs were trafficked from the Columbus area, part of a trend that sees the capital city as a new distribution hub.

Investigators in Circleville and Pickaway County and Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine say that 22 people face heroin trafficking charges, with another 17 suspects charged with trafficking drugs such as crack cocaine, painkillers or methamphetamine.

DeWine says heroin dealers are filling a gap left by previous crackdowns on illegal prescription drug sales in Circleville, about 25 miles south of Columbus.

Last month, DeWine said the state is experiencing a heroin epidemic, with at least 11 overdose deaths a week.