Drug trafficking organization dismantled by local drug task force


Staff Report



Scioto County Sheriff Marty V. Donini and Interim Portsmouth Police Chief Debby Brewer announced that the Southern Ohio Drug Task Force, which consists of narcotics detectives from the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office, the Portsmouth Police Department, and agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the R.A.N.G.E. Task Force of the Montgomery County, Ohio Sheriff’s Office has dismantled another drug trafficking organization that was operating in Portsmouth and Scioto County.

In early March of 2020, the task force along with the Scioto County Prosecutor’s Office presented a ten-month drug trafficking investigation conducted by task force detectives to a Scioto County Grand Jury that resulted in the secret indictments of nineteen individuals responsible for distributing pounds of methamphetamine in the area. These individuals were indicted on a number of felony drug charges as well as Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity, a felony of the 1st degree.

On Monday, March 16, 2020, the following individuals were arrested on the indictment warrants issued by the Scioto County Common Pleas Court: Johnny Smith III of Boyer St. Dayton, Ohio, Alexander Dillard of Forest Ave. Dayton, Ohio, D’Alize Releford of Summerdale Dr. Dayton, Ohio, Kali Releford of Summerdale Dr. Dayton, Ohio, Michael Blair of Decker Ave. Dayton, Ohio, Samuel Holmes of 3rd St. Portsmouth, Ohio, Anthony Robert Benton of 3rd St. Portsmouth, Ohio, Selena Darby of Wayne Ave. Portsmouth, Ohio, Kyrie Menz of 20th St. Portsmouth, Ohio, Kendra Bauer of Mabert Rd. Portsmouth, Ohio, Haleigh Gordan of Robinson Ave, Portsmouth, Ohio, Dara Ruggles of Robinson Ave Portsmouth, Ohio, and Travis Grier of Scioto Trail Portsmouth, Ohio.

During the course of the investigation, task force detectives seized approximately 5 and ½ pounds of suspected methamphetamine a.k.a. “ice”, 112 grams of suspected fentanyl, 70 grams of suspected cocaine, 15 firearms, and approximately $25,000 cash during multiple search warrant executions and covert operations conducted in Portsmouth. Estimated street value of the suspected drugs seized is approximately $70,000.

Three of the nineteen individuals secretly indicted are currently serving prison sentences with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections after they were convicted in Scioto County Common Pleas Court from prior task force investigations and are expected to be served their arrest warrants on indictment in the near future. Three other individuals are at large and are expected to be arrested in the near future.

In addition to the fore-mentioned nineteen individuals secretly indicted, the task force and prosecutor’s office presented additional drug trafficking cases to the Scioto County Grand Jury that resulted in the issuance of arrest warrants on secret indictment of an additional seven individuals for drug trafficking-related offenses. These individuals will be sought and arrested.

All arrestees are currently being held in the Scioto County Jail without bail.

Sheriff Donini and Chief Brewer wish to thank the tactical medics from the Portsmouth Fire Department, the Portsmouth Police Department S.W.A.T. Team, investigators from the Scioto County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Security Department with the Portsmouth Metropolitan Housing Authority for their assistance during the course of the investigation.

Sheriff Donini and Chief Brewer request anyone wishing to leave drug information for the Southern Ohio Drug Task Force,should phone the Task Force tip line at (740) 354-5656 or email drugs@sciotocountysheriff.com. All information will be kept confidential and anonymous.

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Staff Report