Five arrested from 44-person drug indictment

March 25, 2013

Frank Lewis

PDT Staff Writer

Five of the six local individuals named as a part of a 44-person indictment last week have been arrested. The Scioto County Sheriff’s Office said Cherish Lewis, 26, of Wheelersburg; Josh Barnes, 33, also of Wheelersburg; Robert Scott Dials, 25, of Portsmouth and Nathan Reed a.k.a. “Reed” 31, were all on their way to Cincinnati to go through federal processing Monday morning.

According to Portsmouth Police Chief Robert Ware, William Ashley Smith a.k.a. “Cash,” of Portsmouth turned himself in to federal authorities in Portsmouth on Monday.

“They all had a 1:30 p.m. appearance in Federal Court in Cincinnati Monday,” Ware said.

The lone remaining individual was identified as Lance Hatten, 29, who, while listed as a local resident, is from Columbus.

“Hatten is still the only one this local office is looking for,” Ware said. “According to the local (FBI) office, he has not turned himself in locally. That doesn’t mean he didn’t turn himself in somewhere else and they just haven’t been informed of it yet.”

Ware, Detroit law enforcement, and federal agents all gathered in Detroit last Wednesday to announce a 13-count superseding indictment which charges 44 new defendants with a drug conspiracy involving prescription drug controlled substances such as OxyContin, Opana, Vicodin and other drugs.

Health care fraud charges were filed against 32 of the defendants, while three defendants were charged with money laundering and three defendants were charged with being felons in possession of firearms.

A booking photo of Smith was not available Monday because he was transported to Cincinnati directly by authorities.

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at flewis@civitasmedia.com.