Flyer found near Sugartree Ministries threatens ‘purge’


WILMINGTON — A flyer threatening violence was discovered outside Sugartree Ministry Center on Thursday threatening a “purge” toward certain individuals.

“Official notice to all bums/(backpackers) drug addicts and drug dealers and leeches on society,” the flyer states. “You’re not welcome in Clinton County. Find yourself somewhere else to stay and deal your deadly drugs.”

It then states, “or plan on staying the rest of your life. Its open season for the purge to start.”

The notice is signed by “the tax paying good people of Clinton County, Ohio.”

Lee Sandlin, director of Sugartree Ministries, told the News Journal he found out about the flyer on social media and asked associates of his at the Ministries about it.

The associate sent a picture of the flyer to Sandlin when he got a copy. The copy was reportedly obtained from an individual who had gone to the kitchen for help.

Wilmington Police Sgt. Neil Rager told the News Journal an official complaint wasn’t made yet but it was brought to police attention by a third party.

“We are going to check with Sugartree Ministries and see if they can provide more information,” said Rager.

While the flyer didn’t specifically say it was going after homeless people, Sandlin believes it’s targeting homeless individuals in general based on rhetoric he had heard and seen. The rhetoric he saw grouped homeless individuals with vagrants and those who commit criminal acts.

This threat comes after recent discussions about apparent criminal activities associated with homeless and vagrant individuals in the area. Sugartree Ministries has been criticized by certain locals who believe they are enabling bad behavior.

Sandlin said they’ve received threats almost weekly since he became director of Sugartree Ministries five years ago. He’s still asking those who help Sugartree to be vigilant. But he advised Sugartree will keep going.

He also hopes this doesn’t portray a negative image of the area.

“We live in a great community that helps,” he said. “We have a great community and I’d hate for a handful of people who have a bad disposition to tarnish that.”

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574

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