Five people were arrested on drug-distribution and child-endangerment charges after months of investigation by Jackson County law enforcement officials.
The investigation resulted in the seizure of numerous drugs, including cocaine and heroin, from a Klondyke Road residence in Ripley, police said. A gun, a large amount of cash, and drug paraphernalia also were found in the house, which was home to small children who were present for narcotics transactions as well as drug use, police said.
Chief Deputy Ross Mellinger of the Jackson County Sheriff's Department said the arrests will eliminate a significant supply of heroin in the Jackson County community.
Russell W. Young, 21, 931 Klondyke Road, Ripley, was charged with delivery of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver, and drug conspiracy; his bond was set at $200,000, and he is in South Central Regional Jail.
Ashley M. Wall, 26, 931 Klondyke Road, Ripley, was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and drug conspiracy; her bond was set at $50,000 and she is in South Central Regional Jail.
Kaitlin Jo McNeely, 24, 2777 Shamblin Run Road, Ripley, was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and drug conspiracy; her bond was set at $100,000, and she is in South Central Regional Jail.
Tonya M. Miller, 40, 931 Klondyke Road, Ripley, was charged with child abuse or neglect creating the risk of injury and drug conspiracy.
Stacey W. Sayre, 44, 931 Klondyke Road, was charged with delivery of a controlled substance, drug conspiracy, child abuse or neglect creating the risk of injury, and possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. His bond was set at $150,000, and he is in South Central Regional Jail.
According to court records, investigators conducted at least six controlled purchases of narcotics at 931 Klondyke Road in Ripley. Each time, officers provided "cooperating individuals" with cash to buy drugs and recording devices to capture proof.
Recordings from the investigation allegedly showed Young conducting drug transactions while Miller was nearby holding a small child. Videos recorded during the transactions also showed Wall and Sayre participating in illegal activity, according to police.
In one recording, officers could hear Young talking to the "cooperating individuals" about going to Columbus to purchase drugs to sell in Jackson County.
On April 19, Mellinger, along with Deputy L.M. Casto, Deputy Seth Fisher, Capt. R.J. Knox, Deputy J.F. Bowen, and Deputy Luke Roush, executed a search warrant at the residence, which belongs to Miller, police said. Officers located Young, Sayre, Wall, and McNeely in the house.
Casto and Fisher made contact with Young, who ran into his room and attempted to hide a large amount of cash. Young became combative and resisted arrest, but was ultimately subdued. Wall and McNeely were located in the shower area of the bathroom and taken into custody without incident.
Officers also located an 11-month-old child in a crib. Child protective services took custody of the baby.
During the search of the residence, officers found 39 grams of suspected marijuana, 7.32 grams of suspected cocaine, $1,300 in cash, scales, baggies, 3 grams of suspected black-tar heroin, 32 grams of a white crystal substance, multiple syringes, a 38-caliber revolver, and other drug paraphernalia, according to court records.
During an interview with police, Sayre said she had been high on heroin since 10 p.m. the night before and that Miller left her in charge of watching the 11-month old.
Wall told officers that she helped to set up drug deals for Young. Young told officers that Wall, Sayre, and McNeely also participated in drug transactions. Young also said he used Miller's vehicle to transport drugs, and she was aware he was using it for that purpose. Young told the officers he made up to $2,500 in profits every few days selling drugs. He also said he had Miller hold on to his drug money until he was ready to make another trip to purchase drugs, police said.
During an interview with police, Miller allegedly said she was aware of the drug activity, and she allowed Young to use her vehicle to transport narcotics. She also allegedly confirmed that she held money from drug transactions for Young. She also said her small children were around when drugs were being used or sold, according to court documents.