In an effort to combat drugs coming into the area, local law enforcement agencies have started asking hotels to hand over guest lists so they can conduct background searches.
Although the move raises privacy concerns, law enforcement officials said it’s necessary, given the area’s drug epidemic, said Montgomery County Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Brem, commander of the Miami Valley Bulk Smuggling Task Force.
His unit looks to stop the flow of drugs into the area and the flow of money out of the area. They check bus hubs, package delivery services, highways, and yes, hotels.
In 2017 Montgomery County had 500 drug deaths and 3,000 overdoses, and Brem said his unit’s determined reverse that trend while respecting people’s rights and privacy.
“We have someone bringing enough drugs to kill a lot of people, we have to make sure that stops,” he said. “We talk to the clerk, we followed this guy here, so we talk to that clerk, that manager of the hotel.”
Deputies don’t review and do background searches on entire guest lists when they get them, Brem said. They already know who they are looking for, so they run only those names.
Miller lane in the Butler Twp. area and Dayton Mall in Miami Twp. are two areas with high concentrations of temporary residents who investigators check.
Some hotel staffers this news organization contacted for comments declined to speak on the record. But one said federal law enforcement agencies, including Homeland Security, also ask for guest lists.
Jeffery Wallace, a New York resident who was a guest in an area hotel Friday, said he has no issues with hotels giving law enforcement his name.
“That’s their job, they’re supposed to, if I was an officer, I’d do it,” he said.