POMEROY POLICE: Officers Make Biggest Heroin Bust in History

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email

UPDATE: 2/28/12 @ 6 P.M.
POMEROY, Ohio (WSAZ) – Tom Johnson wasn't surprised when he heard that Pomeroy police had made the largest heroin bust in the town's history this week.

“It just seems par for the course anymore,” neighbor and local pastor Tom Johnson said. “It's almost as if there's so many problems with drugs this is just the latest evolution.”

He lives just down the street from where it happened, and often walks by on his way to work.

“It's shocking,” Johnson said. “It's scary. It's a threat. And it's something that needs to be addressed.”

Pomeroy police arrested Larry Wilson II, 34, at a home on Butternut Lane. He faces charges of heroin trafficking and has drug convictions in several states. Miranda Hawley, 19, was also arrested. She’s from Pomeroy and is accused of being Wilson’s go between for clients.

“This guy was from Detroit. He found his way down here by Mapquest,” Police Chief Mark Proffitt said.

“You can never be sure then, of who's coming in with what,” Johnson said.

The load of evidence goes on and on.

“We've got the needles. We've got bowls, pipes, spoons. They burn the heroin in the spoons,” Chief Proffitt said. "These are bags of $10,000 of cash. There's three right there. That's $30,000.”

The police chief says heroin started becoming a problem about two years ago.

“We're going to make sure it doesn't continue,” Chief Proffitt said. “We can't wipe drugs out all together, but we can sure put a big dent in it.”

“If it can be shut down-- if it's only one group at a time-- then so much the better,” Johnson said.

The police chief said he expects more arrests to follow.

ORIGINAL STORY: 2/27/12 @ 6 P.M.

POMEROY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- Thousands of dollars of cash and drugs are off the street after what police are calling the largest heroin bust in Pomeroy history.

Pomeroy Police Chief Mark Proffitt tells WSAZ.com that his office, along with Middleport Police and the Meigs County Sheriff's Office, executed a search warrant at a home on Butternut Lane about 6:50 p.m. Tuesday.

Proffitt says they have been doing surveillance on the residence for several months. He also says they spoke with informants and residents about drug activity in the area.

Larry Wilson II, 34, of Detroit, Mich., was arrested during the bust and charged with aggravated trafficking of heroin. Chief Proffitt says Wilson II went into custody without incident.

Proffitt says inside the home, they found $35,000 in cash, a very large amount of heroin and a loaded .45-caliber pistol. Early estimates show as much as 32 grams of heroin and 65 grams of marijuana were seized.

Proffitt tells WSAZ.com that they found bulk packages of heroin, as well as smaller amounts that were pieced out for sale.

At this time, though, police say they have so much heroin in custody, they cannot determine exactly how much it is. They are sending some of it off to BCI to get an estimation.

Proffitt tells WSAZ.com that Wilson II did not have a criminal record in Meigs County before this bust, but says he has a long history in use and possession of drugs and is a multi-state offender.

Proffitt says they are lucky that this bust ended as calmly as it did.

"Usually in a drug bust, we find a small amount of drugs and a small amount of money, but to find $35,000 and someone with a weapon, ready to use at hand, and a massive amount of heroin, it could have led to a serious situation where someone got hurt," he said.

Investigators also searched another home in connection with the bust.

Miranda Hawley, 19, of Pomeroy, was arrested at an apartment complex along Mulberry Avenue. She faces several felony charges, and more are pending.

Proffitt says a large amount of drug paraphernalia was found in her apartment. And it was in the same packaging as the heroin found at the residence of Wilson II.

Proffitt tells WSAZ.com that they believe Hawley was the go-between for Larry Wilson II and his customers.

Proffitt says there was also a child living at Hawley's apartment. Child Protective Services took the child into custody, and is now staying with grandparents. Hawley faces charges for this, along with the drug charges.

Hawley is being held in the Middleport Jail.

Wilson II is being held in the Washington County Jail.

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