Street violence in Steubenville has become an interstate phenomenon calling for involvement by federal law enforcement agencies.
Time and time again, people arrested for drug trafficking and violent offenses are just visiting East Ohio from other areas.
Yet virtually all of the successes in cracking down on the violent thugs have been recorded by local and state agencies. If there has been federal activity, it has been kept under wraps.
One man alleged to have been part of a multistate scheme will never stand trial. Andrew Estes, 22, died after being gunned down during the weekend while he was standing on a porch in Steubenville. Two men called persons of interest in the killing have been arrested.
Estes was from Newark, N.J. Last fall, however, law enforcement officials in that state listed his home address as Steubenville after they charged him as part of a conspiracy to sell guns illegally in Newark and Irvington, N.J.
Along with six New Jersey residents, authorities in that state charged three other Steubenville men and one from East Liverpool in the weapons scheme.
One of the Steubenville men was arrested after a high-speed chase in New Jersey. Reportedly, he admitted to police he had planned to buy $26,000 worth of heroin in New York City, then take it back to Ohio and sell it for $120,000.
Some of the illegal drugs being sold in East Ohio and the Northern Panhandle have been brought here from several states, including - but certainly not limited to -Pennsylvania, Illinois, Florida and New York. Some of the shootings in Steubenville have involved people from outside the area, possibly involved in turf wars with other pushers.
Local and state law enforcement agencies have done very good jobs in trying to cut the flow of drugs into our area and reduce the violence that plagues Steubenville, in particular. Occasionally there are reports of help provided by federal agencies; the U.S. Marshals Service helped arrest the two people of interest in Estes' murder.
Clearly, however, more federal help is needed. Given the level of violence here, it is a puzzle why such assistance was not provided a long time ago.