PIKETON— Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader has announced the arrest of a drug trafficking ring with gang ties. Reader says the ring was being led by an Ohio inmate.
According to Reader, an investigation by the Pike County Drug and Major Crimes Task Force uncovered a drug trafficking ring being directed by Richard Smith, an inmate inside an Ohio prison.
Reader says other individuals involved in the ring were trafficking methamphetamine and heroin believed to be containing fentanyl throughout the county. Multiple searches led to the seizure of approximately $10,000 cash, one recreation vehicle, four ATV’s, two motorcycles, nine vehicles, 26 pounds of methamphetamine (found in a raid in Preble County) and an estimated 70 prepaid credit cards used in the funding and trafficking of drugs.
During a search warrant at six locations in Pike County, 23 individuals were arrested in relation to the case. The sheriff’s office says many of those arrested have ties to the MS-13, Konvicted Family or Good Fellas gangs.
Smith was incarcerated on May 11, 2015 for first and second degree drug trafficking charges originating out of Scioto County and one third degree drug trafficking charge out of Ross County. He is currently serving eight years for his 2015 charges.
Sheriff Reader also says Smith claims a connection to the MS-13 gang.
In June, Reader issued a statement on social media about members of MS-13 and Konvicted Family gangs coming to Pike County for possible retaliation, and intentionally putting spiked drugs on the street to cause overdoses. Reader says their investigation into Smith was part of the reason behind that warning. Smith remains incarcerated in an Ohio prison.
Among those arrested include:
David Crabtree Jr.
David Crabtree Sr.
Police are still working to locate Elvie Royster, who is wanted for questioning. He is believed to be in Scioto County in an older model red four-door car with front end damage. If spotted, call police immediately. The Pike County Sheriff’s Office can be reached at 740-947-2111, and the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office can be reached at 740-355-8277.