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Man Sentenced to Prison After Exposing East Liverpool Officer to Fentanyl During Traffic Stop


(EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio)— Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Columbiana County Prosecutor Robert Herron announced today that a man accused of assaulting a police officer with fentanyl pleaded guilty today to multiple drug-related charges.

Justin Buckel, 25, of East Liverpool, pleaded guilty this afternoon to the following 23 charges:

  • Engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity
  • Aggravated trafficking in drugs (three counts)
  • Trafficking in heroin (two counts)
  • Trafficking in cocaine (two counts)
  • Aggravated possession of drugs (13 counts)
  • Tampering with evidence
  • Assault on a peace officer

Buckel was sentenced today to a total of 6.5 years in prison on all 23 counts.

Justin Buckel

The assault and tampering with evidence charges relate to a May 2017 incident in which Buckel (pictured) exposed East Liverpool Police Officer Chris Green to fentanyl during a traffic stop conducted as part of "Operation Big Oak." Officer Green survived the exposure after being revived with four doses of naloxone.

"Fentanyl is so dangerous that even the slightest exposure can be deadly, but thankfully in this case naloxone was close at hand," said Attorney General DeWine. "We are serious about holding drug traffickers responsible for bringing this poison into our neighborhoods."

The other charges are also associated with the "Big Oak" (Breaking Into Gangs/Opiate Addiction Knockdown) investigation conducted by the Columbiana County Drug Task Force last year. Buckel was one of 100 people indicted in November as a result of the investigation that uncovered a large-scale fentanyl, carfentanil, heroin, and cocaine trafficking ring.

According to investigators, those accused of trafficking drugs as part of the drug trafficking organization are allegedly responsible for funneling the equivalent of approximately 1 million potentially fatal doses of carfentanil and approximately 350,000 potentially fatal doses of fentanyl into Columbiana County alone.

Two of the alleged ringleaders of the drug trafficking organization, Allen Jackson, 26, of Cleveland, and Anthony Jackson, 30, of Cleveland Heights, are still wanted on charges connected to the case.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Allen Jackson or Anthony Jackson should contact the Columbiana County Drug Task Force at 330-424-0309.


L - Allen Jackson R - Anthony Jackson WANTED: Allen Jackson (L) and Anthony Jackson (R)


Media Contacts:

Dan Tierney: 614-466-3840
Jill Del Greco: 614-466-3840

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