Eight individuals suspected of being part of a drug ring in Southeastern Ohio are facing formal criminal charges and authorities say they are not done yet. In fact, the prosecutor in Athens County is warning anyone who might have links to the alleged ring that they would be wise to contact police before investigators contact them.
An appropriate word of caution from the criminal defense side of the equation would be that anyone who believes they might be the target of an investigation into alleged drug crimes or any other crime would do well to be in touch with an attorney to be sure they understand what their rights are and how to best protect them.
Officials claim the eight suspects picked up in the past week are part of a ring that has allegedly operated from Athens, through Columbus and up to Detroit. Three were reportedly arrested last week and five more were taken into custody yesterday. They range in age from 22 to 45 and come from six different communities around the Athens area.
The official charges against the eight are extensive and too numerous to mention specifically here. They include accusations of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, counts of aggravated drug trafficking, aggravated drug possession and tampering with evidence. Authorities say the investigation involved dealing activity related to oxycodone, marijuana, heroin and cocaine. At least two of the individuals also face weapons charges.
The Athens County prosecutor says that narcotics officials launched the probe with the help of an undercover informant who had gone through the county's diversion program. The Sheriff's Department says that since the arrests, suspected illegal drug activity has fallen off in the area.
Source: The Athens Messenger, "Eight arrested in alleged drug ring in Athens County," Susan Tebben, May 12, 2014