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Authorities bust Pike County drug trafficking ring run by Ohio prisoner

July 7, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
Authorities bust Pike County drug trafficking ring run by Ohio prisoner

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Ohio’s Pike County Sheriff revealed an investigation involving local, state and federal authorities has busted a drug organization being operated from inside of a prison.

The Sheriff said the investigation was launched alert last week after information revealed that lethal doses of drugs were flowing into the county, WLWT reported

Richard Smith, 31, is already serving an eight-year prison sentence for drug trafficking.

However, Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader indicated that his sentence didn’t stop him from operating a drug ring from behind bars, with a whole contingent of individuals transporting drugs and cash in and out of Pike County.

During the investigation, cash, pre-paid credit cards, syringes, and heroin laced with Fentanyl was concealed behind light fixtures.

The probe also led to the seizure of 26 pounds of meth worth over $600,000.

“To take 26 pounds of meth off the streets, I couldn’t imagine to tell you how many lives that could have saved,” Reader stated.

The following suspects arrested include:

David Crabtree Jr.
David Crabtree Sr.
Ashley Crabtree
Courtney Crabtree
Brian Lawson
William Ben Schneider III
Christopher Smith
Duane Sapp
Brittany Ruth
Claudia Wicker
Chasity Gillenwater
Richard Smith
Dennis Olinger
Ben Hatmacher
Steven Peters
Gregory Beavers
Donyiel Montgomery
Alex Jordan
Haley Nichole Bigelow

Police said another suspect Elvie Royster remains at-large

Reader added that Smith, David Crabtree, and Elvie Royster are members of the “Konvicted Family,” a gang that was started in Ohio’s prison system.

He said the probe carried out by the Pike County Drug and Major Crimes Task Force learned last week that gang members could be on their way to Pike County with lethal doses of drugs, intended to take out alleged “snitches.”

Police said Elvie Royster remains at-large

“I will always err on the side of caution. Fortunately, we had no incidences in Pike County, and we had no overdoses in that period,” Reader added.

Reader said that the arrests of 20 suspects have slowed the movement of drugs into the County.

“Is it a temporary fix? It’s a solution that these folks will no longer be trafficking in drugs. But I’m sure there’s a group somewhere that would love to take their place,” he noted.

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