So far, 14 people have been indicted this month in Athens County Common Pleas Court for their involvement in a large-scale methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine trafficking ring.
One person who allegedly is part of that drug ring is still at-large – Brian M. Thompson, 42, of Athens – according to a release from the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office issued Thursday. He has a nationwide warrant out for his arrest.
The 13 others who have been indicted by an Athens County grand jury this month are all allegedly connected to large-scale drug trafficking enterprise in Athens County and neighboring counties after the arrest of Jessica Morris, 40, of Fairfield County. She was indicted on a first-degree felony count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, as well as three other felony charges, earlier this year (Morris was also indicted last year on similar charges, including trafficking in heroin).
These are the 13 people who have been indicted and arrested so far, according to multiple releases issued by Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn’s office since late last week:
• Gina Sufronko, 31, of Nelsonville, has pleaded not guilty to a second-degree felony engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, fifth-degree felony possessing criminal tools, possession of heroin.
• Ryan Lowe, 39, of Nelsonville, will be arraigned soon on similar charges, according to a news release from Blackburn’s office issued Thursday. Lowe and Sufronko are accused by the Prosecutor’s Office of communicating with Morris on “numerous occasions” to purchase methamphetamine.
• Eric Barron, 29, of Nelsonville, has pleaded not guilty to a second-degree felony engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, fifth-degree felony count of possession of heroin, fifth-degree felony count of aggravated possession of drugs, fifth-degree felony count of possessing criminal tools.
• Kimberly Young, 29, of Nelsonville, has pleaded not guilty to the same charges as Sufronko.
• Chase Malloy, 29, of Athens, has not yet been arraigned, but is accused of buying methamphetamine and heroin from Morris with the intent to distribute.
• Nicholas Nelson, 30, of Logan, pleaded not guilty to a second-degree felony count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and a fifth-degree felony count of possessing criminal tools.
• Kasandra Curry, 28, of Carbonhill, pleaded not guilty to the same charges outlined above.
• Earl “Jake” McKee Jr., 25, of Trimble has not yet been arraigned, but is accused of purchasing large amounts of heroin and meth from Morris (he’s currently incarcerated at Madison Correctional Institute).
• Paul Curry, 39, of The Plains, faces the same charges as Nelson and Curry, and he’s pleaded not guilty to those charges. He’s similarly accused of contacting Morris to purchase heroin and meth.
• Bradford “Coy” Hawk V, 28, of Athens, has not yet been arraigned, but he is accused of being Morris’s “inventory handler” in Athens County. He’s currently being held at the North Central Correctional Institution in Marion, Ohio.
• Jimmy Stepp, 36, of Guysville, has also not yet been arraigned, but is accused of frequenting Morris’ mother’s house in Lancaster in order to “re-up” and sell drug in Athens County. He’s currently serving time at Pickaway Correctional Institution in Orient, Ohio.
Most of the individuals mentioned above are being held on bond at the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail, although Paul Curry has been released on his own recognizance.
County Prosecutor Blackburn said today (Friday) that charges against additional people are expected in connection with this alleged drug ring.