Seven suspected drug traffickers arrested in Operation Lifesaver bust in Racine

As the nation continues to battle the opioid crisis, the Racine County Sheriff took a step in the right direction, identifying nine and arresting six in a sting called Operation Lifesaver.

Overnight, a seventh person turned themselves in. Two more men are still wanted.

"The arrests we've undertaken, these are the faces responsible for starting the next round of addictions in Racine County," said Sheriff Christopher Schmaling.

Sara Aude, Katherine Fabio, Nicole Harmon, Rodolfo Lopez, Kevin Robinson and Jermichael Sykes have been charged with a number of different felonies for selling heroin. Leroy Ostrander turned himself in overnight so his charges have not been filed yet.

Police are also looking for David Edwards, 38, and Shakur Miller, 23. Schmaling said the nine individuals were involved in a drug ring in Racine County. If anyone knows of their whereabouts, call 262-886-2300.

"This is a drug ring," Schmaling said. "Make no mistake. They communicate with each other and they have one common goal. That's to push heroin into the hands of our families and children. That's their goal in life and to make money."

Over the course of three months, police bought heroin from the people 30 times in areas all around Racine including near elementary schools, parks and youth centers. Law enforcement takes this problem very seriously and said these people are no better than murderers.

"Think about what they're doing," Schmaling said. "Without any regard for human life, they're distributing a dangerous poison to our community all for the sake of money in their hand. They don't care about you. They don't care about this community. They care about themselves. An arrest today is a life saved tomorrow."

Schmaling said they seized 50 grams of heroin during the arrests in addition to guns, cell phones and money. The street value of the heroin is approximately $8,000 and is enough to supply 500 people.

"Opioid addiction doesn't know gender," Schmaling said. "It doesn't know race. It doesn't know how much money you have in the bank. It doesn't matter. It works on destroying your life and ending it."

While it's only a small number of people, police know this is a step in the right direction.

And it's making Racine a better place.

"We still have some work to do," said Jonathan Delagrave, Racine County Executive. "But I feel positive in the direction we're going because everyone in Racine County is working together."

"I think any time you arrest a heroin dealer in any community, you've taken a dent," Schmaling said. "You may have even saved a life. So yes, you have nine people who are no longer handing poison to our children. I would suggest that's a banner day."


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