Pike Co. residents still on alert after MS-13 gang warning

PIKE COUNTY, OHIO (WCMH) — A warning out this week by the Pike County Sheriff’s Office has some people on edge.

On Monday, Sheriff Charles Reader posted a safety alert saying the MS-13 and/or Konvicted gang members are allegedly headed to the area.

But then on Tuesday, the Scioto County Sheriff released a statement saying there is “no credible evidence” of either gang being in his jurisdiction.

Neither sheriff was available to speak to NBC4 on Wednesday. But, Pike County residents said they’re on the look out and taking Sheriff Reader’s warning seriously.

“We found out about the alert via Facebook,” said resident Dorey Nibert.

Like many resident, Nibert read about the warning online.

“He feels they are coming to our area or at least he has heard that they might be coming to our areas so, I’m glad he’s looking after our best interest,” said resident Ola Burkitt.

The initial warning Sheriff Reader posted on Monday stated that gang members were coming to the area, possibly planning on “‘taking out’ believed snitches and spread ‘HOTSHOTS’ of heavily laced heroin into he area that could cause an extremely large amount of overdoses in Pike County and surrounding counties.”

Some people became confused when Scioto County Sheriff Marty Donini posted a news release on Tuesday, addressing inquiries from Scioto County residents about gang members visiting Southern Ohio.

Part of his release stated: “…there is ‘absolutely’ no credible evidence to corroborate the truth to this rumor! The public is urged to be responsible and to refrain from circulating ‘unverified’ facts and to do so simply fuels hysteria and pandemonium within our community.”

Sheriff Reader posted a rebuttal a few hours later stating quote: “Scioto County would NOT have the information that we obtained in aggressively attacking the drug epidemic in Pike County. I’m sure they stay busy enough in Scioto County.”

Sheriff Reader went on to explain that one person arrested was identified as a Konvicted family gang member with ties to others in Pike County.

Nibert said she appreciates Sheriff Reader’s transparency.

“Whether it’s real information, whether it’s false information, he was letting us know, ‘Hey there’s a chance that this is coming into town, regardless I want to let you about it,’ and I respect that,” she said.

The Scioto County Sheriff’s Office clarified with NBC4 stating that Sheriff Donini was only addressing matters within his own county and not anywhere else.

Sheriff Reader is asking any residents to report unusual activity by calling 9-1-1.

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