Drug Task Force dismantles heroin trafficking organization in southern Ohio

Chris Dunham, PDT Sports Writer

October 12, 2012

Frank Lewis

PDT Staff Writer

Scioto County Sheriff Marty V. Donini and Portsmouth Police Dept. Chief Robert Ware say the Southern Ohio Drug Task Force, along with the assistance of the Scioto County Prosecutor’s Office, are in the process of dismantling a criminal organization consisting of several individuals which allegedly were responsible for trafficking black tar Heroin in Portsmouth and Scioto County.

In July of 2012, Task Force detectives initiated an investigation into the organization, which ultimately led to a traffic stop of a vehicle occupied by Arthur R. Adkins, 41, of 450 Hilock Ave. Columbus, and 22 year old Jess Fleming of 244 Shady Lane, Vinton, Ohio, on Sept. 10, 2012 on U.S. 23 in Rosemount. Upon a search of the vehicle, Detectives said they seized over 150 grams of suspected black tar Heroin. Adkins and Fleming were arrested on drug-related charges and placed in the Scioto County Jail.

On the same date, Task Force Detectives executed a narcotics trafficking–related search warrant at the residence of Paul David Elrod, 58, of 1706 Valley St. in Portsmouth. Detectives seized Oxycodone pills and physical evidence directly related to the possession of and/or trafficking of black tar Heroin. Elrod and 30-year-old Dorothy Stone of 4485 Rose Valley Rd. Portsmouth, were arrested on drug-related charges and placed in the Scioto County Jail.

On Oct. 5, 2012, Task Force detectives, along with the Scioto County Prosecutor’s Office, presented findings of the three-month investigation to a Scioto County grand jury. The grand jury voted to indict Adkins, Fleming, Elrod, Stone, and five additional Portsmouth area residents, including:

Robert Collins, 39, Cecil Collins, 38, 33-year-old Jerry D. Collins, all of 3556 Pleasant Ave. Portsmouth; 31-year-old Melissa S. O’Roark of 1814 Valley St. Portsmouth, and Anna Will, 27, of 1743 B Sixth St. Portsmouth, on multiple criminal offenses such as engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a felony of the first degree; conspiracy to engage in a pattern of corrupt activity, a felony of the second degree; trafficking in drugs -heroin, ranging from a felony of the first degree to a felony of the fifth degree, and possession of drugs - heroin, ranging from a felony of the first degree to a felony of the fifth degree.

After obtaining arrest warrants on indictments for each individual on Oct. 10, Task Force detectives arrested all of the individuals identified in the investigation so far. Adkins, Elrod, and Fleming, which had been incarcerated in the Scioto County Jail since their initial arrests, were each served their arrest warrant at the jail. Robert Collins, Cecil Collins, Jerry Collins, Melissa O’ Roark, and Anna Will were arrested at their place of residence, while Dorothy Stone was arrested on Sixth Street in Portsmouth.

All individuals are being held in the Scioto County Jail without bond pending arraignment in Scioto County Common Pleas Court.

Donini said the investigation is ongoing and thanked the public for their assistance in the case.

One of the names that stands out in the arrest list is that of Paul Elrod of Portsmouth. In addition to the September arrest, in August, Elrod, and Paul Charles, 31, of Portsmouth, were arrested in New Boston - Elrod, found with a pill bottle that contained eight individual packages of black tar heroin, for possession of drugs and trafficking in drugs; Charles for possession of drug paraphernalia items.

At that time, New Boston Police Capt. Steve Goins said, “All of our prescription drugs cases come from local people, but the heroin we believe is being brought into the area from out of town; from Dayton and Columbus-way. We get complaints and we follow up on them. Hopefully in the next couple of months we’ll be able to make an arrest on some of the other drug cases.”

In the September arrest, Elrod was charged with possession of (black tar) heroin and Oxycodone. Another person arrested at that same time was Dorothy Stone for possession of heroin and Oxycodone. Stone, along with Elrod were named in the latest roundup.

Both Donini and Ware said anyone wishing to leave drug information for the Southern Ohio Drug Task Force, can contact the Sheriff’s Office drug line at 740-351-1094, the Portsmouth Police Department drug line at 740-354-DRUG (3784), or email drugs@sciotocountysheriff.com. All information will be kept confidential and anonymous.

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext5. 232, or at flewis@heartlandpublications.com