Six individuals are still being sought out by law enforcement after thirty three people were indicted on Wednesday as authorities dismantled what is believed to be one of the largest drug trafficking organizations in Scioto County.
The 26 individuals that have been apprehended are either incarcerated in the Scioto County Jail, Montgomery County, Ohio Jail, Western Regional Jail in Virginia, or the Ohio Deptartment of Corrections or are waiting along with individuals incarcerated to be arraigned in Scioto County Common Pleas Court.
Anita Odell, 46, of Portsmouth, Laura Slusher, 32, of Portsmouth, Stephen Jones, 27, of Dayton, Xavier Hardy, 23, of Dayton, Ashley Augustin, 32, of Franklin Furnace, and Kyle Horsley, 21, of Portsmouth are among those still being sought out by law enforcement.
The bust was the result of a joint collaboration by the Southern Ohio Drug Task Force, consisting of narcotics detectives from the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office, the Portsmouth Police Department, and Agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
According to both the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office and the Portsmouth Police Department, the large volume of arrests would not have been possible without the collaboration of multiple agencies, including the Dayton Police Department, Portsmouth Fire Department, and probation officers with Scioto County Common Pleas Court.
“I think the task force did a great job. It has been a time consuming effort. They have been working from information dating as far back as three years ago, concerning parts of the investigation. The investigation heated up in February of this year and the search warrant for the residence on Carry’s Run was carried out in late November,” Scioto County Sheriff Marty Donini said. “It’s a time consuming effort, a lot of people don’t understand how it works. It takes a long time when you are investigating a case that involves this many people. I think they did a really good job. I know it’s going to be a lot of work in these following weeks preparing documentation and preparing for court.”
Additionally, Donini commented on the high number of individuals indicted that were Dayton, Ohio residents.
“Nine of these people are residents from Dayton, Ohio. I think that gives a clear picture on who is contributing to our drug problem here in Scioto County,” Donini said.
On November 28, 2017, the task force along with the Scioto County Prosecutors Office presented findings of a drug trafficking investigation involving the distribution of heroin, fentanyl, carfentanil, and methamphetamine a.k.a. ice to a special session of a Scioto County Grand Jury. The grand jury returned a (94) count indictment charging (33) individuals with various felony offenses including, but not limited to; Trafficking in Drugs, a felony of the 1st degree, Conspiracy to Trafficking in Drugs, a felony of the 1st degree, Possession of Drugs, a felony of the 1st degree, Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity, a felony of the 1st degree, Illegal Manufacture of Drugs, a felony of the 2nd degree, and Kidnapping, a felony of the 1st degree, Felonious Assault, a felony of the 2nd degree.
On December 12, 2017, personnel with the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office, Portsmouth Police Department, and FBI conducted operations in Scioto County and Dayton, Ohio, which resulted in the apprehension of 26 of the indicted subjects for their alleged involvement in the drug trafficking organization.
In addition to these individuals, 32-year-old John Nolan (homeless), 47-year-old Gary Musser of Portsmouth, and 47-year-old Samantha Gamble – Raynard of Wheelersburg, Ohio were also arrested on outstanding warrants un-related to the investigation and placed in the Scioto County Jail.
“This has been an outstanding effort by a collaboration of law enforcement agencies working together to take down a drug organization that was operating in the area,” Portsmouth Police Chief Robert Ware said. “This is major accomplishment because it impacted drug trafficking in not only the city and some of the metropolitan housing, but also in the county. As you can see from the list of charges it was a pretty serious operation. It’s the citizen tips, the arrests by patrol officers, it’s the countless hours of undercover operations and drug purchases that make these types of operations possible. It’s important for the public to realize the tips they provide and the information they send to their law enforcement agencies do result in these kinds of arrests.”
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Anita Odell, Laura Slusher, Stephen Jones, Xavier Hardy, Ashley Augustin, or Kyle Horsley can contact the Portsmouth P.D. at (740) 353-4101, Scioto County Sheriff’s Office at (740) 354-7566, or the Southern Ohio Drug Task Force tip line at (740) 354-5656.
Sheriff Donini and Chief Ware request anyone wishing to leave drug information for the Southern Ohio Drug Task Force, should phone the Task Force tip line or email firstname.lastname@example.org. All information will be kept confidential and anonymous.
Information for this story was provided via a news release from the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office.
Reach: Ivy Potter (740)353-3101 Extension 1932