Sheriff | ‘Drive-thru’ drug operation shut down in Meigs County

Drug bust lands three in jail
Drug bust lands three in jail
Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 11:43 AM EDT
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MEIGS COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) – Thanks to tips from the community, a drug operation the sheriff described as a drive-thru operation has been shut down.

“This particular search warrant was investigated by our Task Force after information was received through community members and anonymous tips on our tip line,” stated Meigs County Sheriff Keith Wood. “It was said more than once during the course of this investigation that vehicles were lined up the road on Gibson, waiting for their turn to buy drugs as if it were a fast-food drive-thru.”

“This is one drive-thru that I am happy to see shut down in our county.”

Sheriff Wood

Richard Shultz, who lives nearby, says the increase in traffic was making the road dangerous to drive on.

“It’s just been a constant problem on the road to have so many people; they drive extremely fast,” Shultz said.

On Monday, agents with the Gallia-Meigs Major Crimes Task Force -- along with Meigs County Sheriff’s deputies, officers with the Pomeroy and Middleport Police departments and troopers with the Ohio State Highway Patrol -- executed a search warrant along Gibson Ridge Road in Albany.

Officers spent hours searching the home where they uncovered suspected methamphetamine, fentanyl, heroin, drug paraphernalia and a firearm. Task Force agents also seized cash from the home.

Kevin Payne, 56, of Albany, was arrested and charged with possession of methamphetamine.

He was taken to jail after bond was set in Meigs County Court Tuesday afternoon. Payne remained in custody Tuesday evening.

Further charges are being discussed with the Meigs County prosecutor for trafficking in drugs and possession of the other controlled substances located at the home.

“We’ve seen some very strange things with the drug problem that’s going on. From meeting in church parking lots to cemeteries to Walmart parking lots, wherever. They’re kind of open about it, seems like they’re just not too concerned about law enforcement,” said Sheriff Wood.

Matthew Older and Travis Older also were arrested at the scene on bench warrants through the Meigs County Court of Common Pleas.

Both men were transported to jail where they await their initial hearings.

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