Authorities Investigating if Ohio Massacre Was a Drug Cartel Hit

execution style murder
AP Photo/John Minchillo
Pike County, OH

After spending four days investigating the massacre of eight family members, officials in Ohio have discovered a disturbing connection to illegal drugs, prompting speculation that the murders may have been a drug cartel hit.

Police were called to several homes in economically depressed Pike County on April 22. They found eight members of the same family murdered execution style. The dead included seven adults and a sixteen-year-old. Three young children, one a newborn, were not killed.

Authorities were shocked to discover several sophisticated marijuana-growing facilities apparently being run by the various members of the Rhoden family. The growing operation is large enough to cause police to say the drug was being grown for manufacture and sale, not just personal use. So far, the street value of the drugs is being set at half a million dollars.

Now, with the illegal drug connection established, investigators as looking into the possibility that the murders are connected to the actions of a drug cartel.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine wouldn’t say with certainty that the large-scale drug operation had something to do with the murders. “We have no idea. I mean you know we’re running those leads out, there’s many different theories,” DeWine told CBS.

Authorities also report that there was evidence of cockfighting found in some of the family compounds.

Police were also made aware of a Facebook threat posted in the days before the murders.

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