Pike Co. Sheriff: 16 charged in gang-related drug ring - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Pike Co. Sheriff: 16 charged in gang-related drug ring

(Source: Facebook/Pike County Sheriff's Office) (Source: Facebook/Pike County Sheriff's Office)
PIKE COUNTY, OH (FOX19) -

Sixteen people are facing charges in connection to drug trafficking with gang ties, Pike County Sheriff Charles Reader announced Thursday.

The announcement comes after the sheriff put out a warning on June 26 about international gang members "taking out"  believed snitches with a deadly drug. The gangs mentioned in his alert were MS-13, an international criminal gang and Konvicted Family gang members

The uncommon alert was based on “very limited intelligence” gathered through recent drug investigations, Reader wrote in a message posted to Facebook.

Reader said Thursday the trafficking ring was headed by Richard Smith, a Corrections Reception Center inmate.  

Throughout the investigation, authorities recovered methamphetamine, heroin believed to contain fetanyl, $10,000 in cash and an estimated 70 pre-paid credit cards. 

Many of the people charged are related to him or directly connected to him. They also either are members or have ties with Konvicted Family gang, the "Good Fellas" gang or MS-13.

In addition to Smith, the following have also been charged: Chasity Gillenwater, Christopher Smith, Jackie Smith, April Smith, Brian Carter, William Schneider, Donyiel Montgomery, Ben Hatmacher, Claudia Wicker, David Crabtree Jr., Ashley Crabtree, Brian Lawson, Brittany Ruth, David Crabtree Sr., and Courtney Crabtree. 

Wanted for questioning is Elvie Royster, who is believed to be in Scioto County or Ross County, officials said

According to Reader, at least two of the people charged are confirmed gang members.

Sheriff Reader says more arrests are likely. 

Investigators have not linked the gang activity to the 2016 shooting deaths of 8 family members.

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