By FRANK LEWIS
PDT Staff Writer
The owner of a Lucasville auto dealership has been arrested and $60,000 in drugs, $9,000 cash, firearms, vehicles, a fifth-wheel, ATVs, tools and many other items confiscated, after a long investigation came to fruition Thursday afternoon.
Marty S. Fitzgerald, 34, of 196 Fairview Ave., Lucasville, owner/operator of Marty’s Used Autos on U.S. 23 north of Lucasville, faces charges of trafficking in oxycodone and possession of oxycodone, felonies of the first-degree.
Scioto County Sheriff Marty V. Donini credited the agents from the various narcotics units with doing a lot of work on the case for more than a month. He said that as a result of the investigation, authorities learned Fitzgerald had been bringing thousands of oxycodone pills into the area.
“It’s in preparation for the HIDTA (High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas) designation,” Donini said. “It consists of three of our officers who are assigned to drugs; two from the Portsmouth Police Department; and members from our local FBI office. It seems like they are really picking up. I don’t know if they are actually more motivated, and a lot of it has to do with the fact that these pill mills are shut down. So these dealers now are going to Detroit and bringing their pills back from there.”
Donini said the latest activity is the Southern Ohio Drug Task Force’s assault on the distribution of oxycodone coming into the area from Michigan.
“This guy was tripping to Detroit, and is a pretty good size dealer,” Donini said.
Donini said Task Force detectives, with the assistance of probation officers from the Scioto County Common Pleas Court Probation Department, arrested Fitzgerald in the 2500 block of Gallia Street in Portsmouth, after an extensive investigation into his alleged drug trafficking activity, turned up about 1,865 suspected oxycodone pills of either 30 milligram or 15 milligram strength, about $9,000 cash, firearms and numerous property, including a camper suspected of being derived from the proceeds of drug trafficking.
Donini was asked what listing of the dealership had to do with the alleged drug activity.
“From what I understand he is on probation from a violation out of that business that he runs,” Donini said. “I’m not sure what the details are, but it had something to do with not reporting certain income. I don’t know for a fact, but it could be a front. The drug money could also be used to finance that dealership.”
Donini said all the property confiscated will be stored until the case is concluded.
“If it goes federally they may seize it through federal procedures, or if it goes state, we’ll have to wait until the case is disposed of,” Donini said.
Fitzgerald was placed in the Scioto County Jail and arraigned Friday morning in Portsmouth Municipal Court. Donini said he is being held on $100,000 bond.
The case will be forwarded to the Scioto County Prosecutor’s Office to be presented to the Scioto County grand jury for the consideration of additional charges.
Donini also thanked the public for there assistance and said anyone wishing to leave drug information for the Southern Ohio Drug Task Force, can contact the Sheriff’s Office drug line at740-351-1094, the Portsmouth Police Dept. drug line at 740-354-DRUG (3784), or email email@example.com. All information will be kept confidential and anonymous.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.