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UPDATE: Grand jury indicts 7 charged in drug bust

(WTAP)
Published: Jun. 11, 2020 at 4:18 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 23, 2020 at 9:44 PM EDT
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UPDATE: 6/23/20 5:15 P.M.

Seven people arrested in a drug bust that authorities said was possibly the largest in Washington County’s history have been indicted on multiple felony counts by a grand jury.

Authorities said they seized more than 10 pounds of fentanyl, much of which had been laced with heroin, in the June 10 raid at residences in Marietta and Belpre.

Named in the indictments returned on June 16 are: Andrew Johnston, 41, Belpre; Tytus Shields, 31, of Belpre; Steven A. Siegel, 31, of Belpre; Kyleigh Rymer, 29, of Ravenswood; Kelci Wise, 19, of Belpre; Timothy Payne Jr., 39, of Marietta; and Hayle Hull, 25, of Marietta.

Following is a list of the suspects and the charges they face:

Johnson - trafficking in heroin, possession of heroin, aggravated trafficking in drugs, aggravated possession of drugs and receiving proceeds of an offense subject to forfeiture proceedings

Shields - trafficking in heroin, two counts; possession of heroin, aggravated trafficking in drugs, aggravated possession of drugs; receiving proceeds of an offense subject to forfeiture proceedings; having weapons under disability, three counts; and receiving stolen property

Siegel - possession of heroin, receiving proceeds of an offense subject to forfeiture proceedings and receiving stolen property

Rymer - receiving proceeds of an offense subject to forfeiture proceedings, possession of heroin and tampering with evidence

Wise - trafficking in heroin, possession of heroin, aggravated trafficking in drugs, aggravated possession of drugs and receiving proceeds of an offense subject to forfeiture proceedings

Payne - trafficking in a fentanyl-related compound; possession of a fentanyl-related compound; trafficking in heroin, possession of heroin; receiving proceeds of an offense subject to forfeiture proceedings, two counts; possessing criminal tools; endangering children; and having weapons while under disability, three counts

Hull - trafficking in a fentanyl-related compound; possession of a fentanyl-related compound; trafficking in heroin; possession of heroin; receiving proceeds of an offense subject to forfeiture proceedings, two counts; possessing criminal tools; endangering children; and receiving stolen property.

Johnston, Shields and Siegel all remain in the Washington County Jail.

A grand jury in Washington County returns charges against seven people arrested in a major fentanyl bust on June 10.
A grand jury in Washington County returns charges against seven people arrested in a major fentanyl bust on June 10.(WTAP)
A grand jury in Washington County returns charges against seven people arrested in a major fentanyl bust on June 10.
A grand jury in Washington County returns charges against seven people arrested in a major fentanyl bust on June 10.(WTAP)

UPDATE: 6/11/2020 9:20 P.M.

Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks says he doesn’t remember a bigger drug bust in his time in office than Wednesday’s bust made by members of the Washington, Morgan, Monroe and Noble Major Crimes Task Force.

Task force members recovered more than 10 pounds of fentanyl between three simultaneously served search warrants in Belpre and Marietta.

According to a news release, authorities also recovered hundreds of grams of methamphetamine and hundreds of grams of heroin.

Lt. Josh Staats, who works on the task force, said much of the fentanyl was mixed with heroin.

In addition to the drugs, authorities recovered several firearms, including a 9 mm handgun with a 50-round magazine, and approximately $40,000.

Staats said the case began when the task force and the Parkersburg Narcotics Task Force began investigating Tytus Shields, 31, of Belpre, and some of his associates. Shields was one of seven people arrested in Wednesday's bust.

The news release said authorities executed two warrants in the 1500 block of Elizabeth Street in Belpre, where Shields was found with more than $20,000, firearms and more than 86 grams of heroin. As a convicted felon, Shields was not permitted to possess a firearm, authorities said.

Andrew Johnston, 41, of Belpre and Kelci Wise, 19, also of Belpre, were found at a separate location in the 1500 block of Elizabeth Street, where authorities said they found 198 grams of heroin, 227 grams of meth, more than $10,000 and other items allegedly related to drug trafficking.

Authorities said Kyleigh Rymer, 29, of Ravenswood, and Steven Siegel, 31, of Belpre, tried to flee the same location but were stopped by officers. Rymer allegedly tried to hide 49 grams of heroin and $1,250, while Siegel allegedly had 1.59 grams of heroin and more than $2,800. His vehicle apparently also had a stolen license plate attached to it.

Timothy Payne Jr., 39, of Marietta, and Haley Hull, 25, also of Marietta were taken into custody In the 900 block of Lancaster Street in Marietta. Seized from the area were 3,064.37 grams of suspected heroin and 1,340 grams of suspected fentanyl. Officers also recovered three firearms, $10,754, scales, a hydraulic press and other items related to drug trafficking.

In addition, authorities said Payne and Hull’s infant child was present at the scene.

All seven people arrested have appeared in Marietta Municipal Court.

Johnston is charged with trafficking in heroin, trafficking in methamphetamine, and receiving proceeds of an offense subject to forfeiture. He is being held at the Washington County Jail on a $100,000 bond.

Shields is charged with trafficking in heroin, having weapons while under disability, receiving stolen property, and receiving proceeds of an offense subject to forfeiture. He is being held at the Washington County Jail on a $50,000 bond.

Siegel is charged with possession of heroin, receiving proceeds of an offense subject to forfeiture, and receiving stolen property. He is being held on a $10,000 bond.

Payne Jr. is charged with having weapons under disability, trafficking in heroin, trafficking in fentanyl. He is being held on a $75,000 bond.

Hull is charged with trafficking in heroin and trafficking in fentanyl. She is being held on a $50,000 bond.

Wise is charged with trafficking in heroin, trafficking in methamphetamine, and possession of methamphetamine. She’s being held on a $50,000 bond.

Rymer is charged with possession of heroin, receiving proceeds of an offense subject to forfeiture, and tampering with evidence. She is being held on a $7,500 bond.

While Wednesday’s arrests were a win for law enforcement, some officers are growing concerned over the demand for drugs in the Mid-Ohio Valley.

“Now we’re becoming a kilo dealer city," Staats said. "There’s kilo dealers here now, where we’ve never seen that in the past. You would have to go to a source city to purchase kilos of whatever kind of drug you’re coming back here to sell. Now you’ve got those people here, that’s sitting on that amount of drugs, because, apparently there’s demand for that here now.”


ORIGINAL STORY: 6/11/20

More than 10 pounds of fentanyl has been seized in a major drug bust in Washington County, authorities announced in a news conference Thursday afternoon.

At least seven people were arrested in the raids early Thursday at residences in the 1500 block of Elizabeth Street in Belpre and the 900 block of Lancaster Street in Marietta, authorities said.

Sheriff Larry Mincks called it one of the largest, if not the largest, bust in the department's history.

The estimated street value of the drugs is $625,000 and authorities also recovered about $40d,000 in cash and numerous firearms, according to the sheriff's office.

Those arrested and the charges they face includes:

- Andrew Johnston, of Belpre, no age listed, trafficking in drugs and receiving proceeds of an offense subject to forfeiture

- Tytus Shields, 31, of Belpre, trafficking in heroin, having weapons while under disability, receiving stolen property, and receiving proceeds of an offense subject to forfeiture.

- Steven Allen Siegel, 31, possession of heroin, receiving proceeds of an offense subject to forfeiture, and receiving stolen property.

Timothy Edwin Payne Jr,, 39, of Marietta, having weapons under disability, trafficking in heroin and trafficking in fentanyl.

Haley Noel Hull, 25, 49, of Marietta, trafficking in heroin and trafficking in fentanyl

Kelci Leann Wise, 19, of Belpre, trafficking in heroin, trafficking in methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine.

Kyleigh Danielle Rymer, 29, of Ravenswood, possession of heroin, receiving proceeds of an offense subject to forfeiture and tampering with evidence.

All of the suspects were arraigned in arraigned in Marietta Municipal Court and were given varying bond amounts, the Sheriff's Office said.

The bust was a joint effort by officers of the Washington Morgan Noble Major Crimes Task Force, which includes Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost's Organized Crime Investigation Commission and officers from the Ohio State Highway Patrol; the Washington, Morgan and Noble County sheriff’s offices; the Marietta, Belpre and McConnelsville police departments; and the Washington, Morgan and Noble County prosecuting attorney's offices.

We have a reporter at the news conference and we will have more details online and during WTAP News @ 5 and 6.

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