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UPDATE: Fugitive wanted in drug investigation caught in Athens County

Published: Mar. 26, 2021 at 1:27 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 9, 2021 at 5:35 PM EDT
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UPDATE: 4/9/21 5:15 P.M.

ATHENS COUNTY, Ohio (WTAP) - Authorities have arrested an Athens County man who was the subject of a nationwide arrest warrant after he was indicted in a drug investigation in March.

Roger Rutter, 50, of Glouster, was arrested Friday after authorities found him hiding inside a home on Broad Street in Glouster, the Athens County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office said in a news release. Another man living in the home, Daniel Meade, was also arrested and charged with harboring a fugitive.

Roger Rutter, 50, of Glouster, Ohio, was arrested on Friday. Authorities allege that he is...
Roger Rutter, 50, of Glouster, Ohio, was arrested on Friday. Authorities allege that he is connected to a ring that sold drugs in Athens and Perry counties.(WTAP)

Rutter faces charges of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and aggravated possession of drugs for his alleged role in a ring that authorities said sold drugs in Athens and Perry counties. Five other people are also facing charges after being indicted in the investigation.

After the indictment, prosecutors said Rutter knew he was a fugitive. In fact, they said a news release on Facebook asking for information about his whereabouts was shared by Rutter’s own Facebook account.

While Rutter was arrested without incident on Friday, prosecutors said he was spotted Monday by investigators on Route 13 in Glouster but managed to run into some woods and get away.

“We’re glad to have him off the streets, especially considering the amount of drugs he’s put out there,” Jay Barrett, the chief investigator in Prosecuting Attorney Keller Blackburn’s office, said.

Rutter, who is in the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail awaiting an appearance in Athens County Common Pleas Court on Monday, has a criminal history, prosecutors said.

He was sentenced to two years in prison in 2016 after pleading guilty to several felony drug crimes. One of those charges was involuntary manslaughter for the death of Mackinsey Roberts, who died from a heroin overdose at his home. Rutter’s wife, Tammy, also received a three-year prison sentence for her involvement in that case.

In a case unrelated to the drug investigation, Rutter is also charged with four counts of hunting without permission and two counts of prohibited acts for allegedly cultivating ginseng out of season.

ORIGINAL STORY: 3/26/21

ATHENS COUNTY, Ohio (WTAP) - Authorities have issued a nationwide arrest warrant for a man wanted on charges stemming from a drug investigation that has also resulted in charges against five other people.

A grand jury in Athens County Common Pleas Court indicted Roger Rutter, 50, and Leesha Santeck, 34, both of Glouster, Monday on charges of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, which is a second-degree felony. Rutter is also charged with aggravated possession of drugs for allegedly having a large amount of methamphetamine in September.

Authorities are continuing to look for Rutter, who authorities said is 5-foot-6 and weighs 160 pounds.

Santek remains in the Middleport Jail on an unrelated charge.

The two are accused of running a drug ring in the Glouster area and distributing drugs in both Athens and Perry counties, Prosecuting Attorney Keller Blackburn’s office said in a news release.

Four other people were arrested Wednesday on outstanding warrants as authorities searched for Rutter. They are:

- Kevin Azbell, 51, of Amesville, who was indicted Monday on charges of possession of cocaine and two counts of aggravated possession of drugs. Prosecutors sought a $50,000 bond, but Common Pleas Judge Patrick Lang allowed him to be released on his own recognizance.

- Paul Losey Jr., 26, of Glouster, was indicted on a charge of possession of heroin. Prosecutors sought a $25,000 bond, but Lang also allowed him to be released on his own recognizance.

- Amber Degarmore, 24, of Glouster, faces charges of theft and failure to appear. She was being held Friday in the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail on a $15,000 bond set by Athens County Municipal Judge Todd Grace.

- Harold Spears, 44, of Corning, faces charges for failure to appear and a probation violation. He was being held Friday in the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail on a $25,000 bond set by Common Pleas Judge George McCarthy.

Rutter is also facing four unrelated misdemeanor charges of hunting without permission and two counts of prohibited acts related to alleged cultivating of wild ginseng out of season.

Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to call the prosecutor’s office at 740-592-3208, the Athens County Sheriff’s Office or 911.

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