Portsmouth police officer Jake Newman is being praised for his efforts in two arrests that resulted in the largest seizure of narcotics by a Portsmouth police officer working a regular patrol duty. Kenneth Knight, 41, of McDermott, is charged with possession of drugs-heroin, possession of drugs-methamphetamine, trafficking in drugs-heroin and trafficking in drugs-methamphetamine, all felonies of the first degree.
Victoria Blanton, 28 of Greenup, Kentucky, was charged with possession of drug abuse instruments, a second-degree misdemeanor and possession of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.
The Portsmouth Police Department arrested the two following a traffic stop Wednesday night.
Portsmouth Police Operations Captain Lynn Brewer said at about 10:41 p.m., Wednesday, Newman observed a vehicle being operated by Knight, traveling northbound in the 600 block of Broadway St. Newman reportedly observed the vehicle only had one operating headlight resulting in his initiating a traffic stop.
Brewer said as Newman was approaching the vehicle, the driver, Knight, was advised of the reason for the stop and asked for his driver’s license. Knight reportedly told Newman he did not have a license. Newman said he then recognized Knight from a previous arrest involving a firearm so he asked him to step out of the vehicle and patted him down for officer safety.
Newman reportedly then asked and was given consent to search Knight’s person. During the search, Newman said he located a small baggie containing a light brown powder in the watch pocket on Knight’s jeans. The brown powder field tested positive for the presence of heroin.
Newman was joined on the stop by officers Troy Eddleman and Cody Ervin who assisted in security of the occupants of the vehicle and the search of the vehicle.
Knight was handcuffed and secured in the back seat of a police cruiser and the passenger in the vehicle was asked to step out. When officers searched the passenger, Blanton, they said she was found to be in possession of a straw that appeared to have been fashioned to snort narcotics and she reportedly admitted ownership of a backpack that was recovered from the vehicle that contained several hypodermic needles.
Based on the discovery of drugs on Knight’s person and the fact that the vehicle was going to be impounded, officers conducted an inventory search of the vehicle. In the trunk of the vehicle, officers found a small locked box Knight said belonged to him. Knight was reportedly asked if it contained anything of value that needed to be impounded and Brewer said his response was that the box contained drugs and officers could have them.
Brewer said the box was opened by officers and found to contain a large amount of drugs and cash. In total, officers recovered approximately 673 grams of a substance that field tested positive for heroin and 142 grams of a substance they said field tested for methamphetamine. Officers also reportedly recovered $18,708 in cash during the arrest.
Brewer said Knight told officers that all the drugs and cash belonged to him. The total street value of the narcotics seized is $87,500.
Both subjects were transported to the Scioto Count Jail to be held for arraignment in Portsmouth Municipal Court Thursday morning.
The case will be presented to the Scioto County grand jury where additional charges may be brought against both Knight and Blanton. If convicted on the charges he already faces, Knight could receive up to 44 years in prison and fines totaling up to $80,000.
“The amount of Heroin seized here is over a half a kilo of the narcotic. This represents the single largest seizure of narcotics by an officer working regular patrol on the Portsmouth Police Department,” Brewer said. “Officer Newman has demonstrated himself to be a proactive officer on this department and we want to make sure we publicly commend his dedication and service to the community on this arrest.”
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.