UPDATE 5/12/14 @ 3:55 p.m.
ATHENS, Ohio (WSAZ) — Eight people have been arrested or indicted in connection with their alleged involvement in a drug ring that investigators say extends from Detroit through Columbus to Athens County.
The Athens County Prosecutor, the Athens County Sheriff, the Athens City Police Chief and the Ohio University Police Chief announced the results of a joint operation to shut down the ring during a press conference in Athens Monday afternoon.
Five of the people are now in custody.
Those arrested or indicted are:
• Derek James Gyure, 26, of Glouster was arrested May 6 following a four car chase through the Glouster area. Investigators say Gyure was armed with a .40 caliber Glock handgun at the time of his arrest. They also say he was seen tossing a green ammunition box into the brush. Investigators say when they recovered the box it contained more than 1,400 Oxycodone pills with a street value of $42,000. The box also contained over $17,000 in cash. During a search of Gyure’s residence a cache of guns were seized, according to the press release. Gyure was indicted May 9 on five counts of Aggravated Trafficking in Drugs, one Count of Aggravated Possession of Drugs, one count of Tampering with Evidence, one count of Having a Weapons Under Disability, one count of Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity, and one count of Possessing Criminal Tools.
• John Casey Metcalf, 22, of Glouster, was indicted May 9 on four counts of Aggravated Trafficking in Drugs; one count of Possession of Marijuana, one count of Having Weapons While Under a Disability, one count of F5 Possessing Criminal Tools; and one count of Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity.
• Billy Joe Haynes, 25, of Athens, was indicted May 9 on two counts of Trafficking in Cocaine and one count of Aggravated trafficking in Drugs.
• Kendra Rania Sharrer, 22, of Glouster, was arrested Monday and charged with one count of Aggravated Possession of Drugs, one count of Tampering with Evidence, and one count of Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity.
•Tinkey L. Rutter, 37, of Chauncey, was arrested on Monday on one count of Possession of Heroin.
•Bert C. Sharrer, 45, of Jacksonville, was arrested Monday on two counts of Aggravated Trafficking in Drugs and one count of Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity.
•Bert Sharrer, Jr., 18, of McConnelsville, was arrested Monday on Monday and charged with one count of Aggravated Trafficking in Drugs and one count of Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity.
•Ryan Rutherford, 36, of Nelsonville, was arrested Monday on one count of Aggravated Possession of Drugs.
“This is a good day for law enforcement in Southeastern Ohio, and it’s a bad day for drug dealers and other criminals who want to do business in our region,” said Athens County Sheriff Rodney Smith.
“Crime does not respect jurisdictional boundaries,” said Athens Police Chief Tom Pyle. “Working together, we will systematically attack this problem at the source.”
“We must recognize there is a pipeline of drugs that extends from Columbus,” said Ohio University Police Chief Andrew Powers. “Taking a regional approach in sharing information and resources is the best opportunity to stop the flow.”
“We can’t let Route 33 become a corridor for Heroin and other dangerous drugs,” said Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn. “We need to work together to shut down the supply, and work within our community on treatment efforts to shut down the demand.”
Prosecutor Keller Blackburn says Derek James Gyure, 25, of Glouster, was armed with a .40 caliber handgun, had 1,400 Oxycodone pills worth $42,00 and $17,000 in cash in his vehicle.
Gyure is charged with engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, possession of drugs, aggravated trafficking of drugs, tampering with evidence, and possession of weapons under disability.
Blackburn says Gyure tried to throw the gun in a bush when he was taken into custody.
Bond for Gyure was set for $750,000 during a hearing Tuesday morning. The State of Ohio is seeking forfeiture of Gyure's home, vehicle and multiple weapons found in his home.
Blackburn says Gyure is believed to be the supplier for multiple Glouster-area drug dealers, including Casey Metcalf, who was also recently arrested on trafficking charges.
Blackburn called Gyure's arrest, "A significant accomplishment in our community justice mission to take out the dealers and treat the addicted."
Athens County Sheriff Rodney Smith said, "Without the cooperative efforts of law enforcement working together, this would not have been possible. Drug dealers should be put on notice - stop dealing in drugs, get the treatment you need, or suffer the consequences."