PORTSMOUTH, Ohio (WSAZ) – Four of the eight people indicted as part of an alleged heroin ring operating in Scioto County have been sentenced to prison.
Dawnetta A. Cargle, 26, Curtis D. Jackson, 26, Malcom D. Owens ,28 and Brandi A. Bellfo, 27, all of Dayton, Ohio, pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges engaging in a pattern of corrupt activities and trafficking in heroin.
Following the pleas, each was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Prosecutors say the investigation into the ring began in November 2013.
They say the four made a number of trips from Dayton to Portsmouth, transporting heroin to be sold from residences on 6th Street and in Wayne Hills. Investigators say the four made a number of hand to hand sales to street dealers and addicts.
During the investigation, members of the Southern Ohio Drug Task Force executed two search warrants and seized approximately 65 grams of heroin, 24 grams of Fentanyl, and more than $3,500 in cash. The estimated street value of the drugs seized was more than $13,000.
In May, the four, along with Delores M. Hoag, 51, of Portsmouth, Ronald J. Hoag, 22, of Portsmouth, Amanda B. Price, 27, of Portsmouth, and Melissa A. Stiltner, 38, of Portsmouth, were indicted by a grand jury.
Prosecutors say Bellfo has previous convictions for receiving stolen property in Hamilton County and theft and intimidation.
In 2007, Owens was sentenced in Montgomery County, Alabama to ten years for conspiracy to commit murder.
"It's not surprising," 6th Street resident Frank Osborne said. "There are drugs that go up and down here all the time."
Osborne says on several occasions, he's found used heroin needles in his front yard.
"I looked over and I found one between my tires here," he said. "Years ago, it not used to be like that. You could leave your doors open and nobody would ever bother anything. Now, you can't leave nothing on the porch without somebody stealing it because they need a drug fix."
But the Southern Ohio Drug Task Force is fighting back. On Friday, a Scioto County grand jury indicted eight people on felony drug trafficking charges. Nearly half of those indicted live on 6th Street, and police say four others are from Dayton, Ohio.
"We have a pretty significant flow of heroin that comes in the Portsmouth area from the Dayton area," Portsmouth Police Chief Robert Ware said.
Ware says during a three-month investigation, officers seized approximately 65 grams of heroin, and 24 grams of Fentanyl. All together, investigators estimate the street value is worth more than $13,000.
"Every network that we take out makes it harder and harder for the dealers to get their drugs into our communities," Ware said. "So, whether it's in Huntington, West Virginia taking it out or Ashland, Kentucky or Portsmouth, Ohio. The more we take out the safer our community will be."
Investigators say during a three month investigation from November 2013 through January 2014, the Southern Ohio Drug Task Force executed two search warrants and seized approximately 65 grams of heroin, 24 grams of Fentanyl, and more than $3,500 in cash. The estimated street value of the drugs seized was more than $13,000.
After the case was presented to a Scioto County Grand Jury by the task force and the Scioto County Prosecutor’s Office, the grand jury voted to indict eight individuals for Trafficking in Drugs, and Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity.
The individuals are:
Delores M. Hoag, 51, of Portsmouth, Ronald J. Hoag, 22, of Portsmouth, Amanda B. Price, 27 of Portsmouth, Melissa A. Stiltner, 38, of Portsmouth, Dawnetta A. Cargle, 25, of Dayton, Curtis O. Jackson,25, of Dayton, Malcom D. Owens ,24 of Dayton, and Brandi A. Bellfo, 27, of Dayton, Ohio.
Six of the eight people have been arraigned in Scioto County Common Pleas Court and are awaiting trial.
Bellfo currently has a warrant for her arrest, while Cargle is in the Montgomery County, Ohio jail on unrelated charges.