Southeastern Ohio drug ring foiled

A multi-agency law enforcement effort has resulted in the arrest of three people as part of an alleged souotheastern Ohio drug operation. Arrested were, Antonio D. McIntosh, 36, of Gallipolis, who was indicted on 13 counts, including charges of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, possession of cocaine and crack cocaine, and trafficking in cocaine and crack cocaine; Natasha L. Quesinberry, 23, of Washington Court House, who was indicted on one count of trafficking in cocaine and one count of possession of cocaine, and Stan D. Helms, 40, of Columbus, who was indicted on 11 counts, including charges of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, possession of crack cocaine, and trafficking in crack cocaine.

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and members of the Major Crimes Task Force of Meigs and Gallia County announced Friday that the trio been arrested as part of an investigation into a criminal enterprise accused of bringing cocaine and crack cocaine into Gallia County, Meigs County, and parts of West Virginia.

The arrests followed search warrants that were issued at five Gallia County locations Friday morning.

The investigation was conducted by the Major Crimes Task Force of Meigs and Gallia Counties, which is part of the Ohio Attorney General’s Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission. The task force is made up of authorities from the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office, Gallia County Sheriff’s Office, Gallipolis Police Department, Middleport Police Department, Gallia County Prosecutor’s Office, and Meigs County Prosecutor’s Office. Also assisting in the investigation were the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Ohio State Highway Patrol, and Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

Additional arrests are likely.

Investigators believe the enterprise brought cocaine and crack cocaine from central Ohio and distributed it to residents of Gallia County, Meigs County, and Mason, West Virginia.

“Drug abuse is a problem in every corner of the state,” DeWine said. “Dismantling drug trafficking operations is part of the solution, and I commend the hard work of law enforcement in this case.”

All the agencies involved reported the operation was one that required a lot of work.

“The Meigs-Gallia Major Crimes Task force has worked extremely hard on this long term case and I commend them for it. It is essential to Meigs County’s safety and welfare to rid, not only Meigs County, but the surrounding areas of drug dealers, as these same people pass these horrible, life threatening drugs on to our county’s residents. This is the very reason that we have formed a partnership through the Task Force,” Meigs County Prosecutor Colleen Williams said.

The warrants that were served Friday were issued as the result of an extensive investigation into what agents described as a major criminal enterprise that has been operating in the southeaster Ohio county since the fall of 2013.

“Our community has experienced the effects of the drug trafficking occurring at the locations we targeted today (Friday), including an increase in property crimes and violent incidents in the area,” Gallia County Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Adkins said. “Today our goal was to attack this problem by targeting the drug dealers and disrupting the supply. Those who seek to profit by peddling drugs in our community need to understand that this investigation did not end today, but will continue until the so-called ‘pool hall’ is out of business for good.”

By Frank Lewis

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Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.

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