Updated Wed, Dec 11, 2013 10:50 am
Two people are in custody after being arrested Tuesday morning in connection with a drug bust that included the seizure of cocaine, heroin, ecstasy and more than $18,000 cash.
Porter Mitchell, 38, of Gallipolis, and Michelle Walker, 36, of Rio Grande, were arrested by a newly formed group of law enforcement officials dubbed the Ohio Organzied Crime Investigations Commission (OOCIC). The task force served warrants at P.J.'s Pool Hall and a neighboring residence on Route 7 in Gallipolis just after midnight, according to a news release from the Ohio Attorney General's Office.
The search uncovered more than 140 grams of powered cocaine, 11 grams of heroin, a small amount of ecstasy and more than $18,000. Investigators allege that the pool hall was a front for an ongoing drug trafficking operation conducted by Mitchell who owned the business and lived next door.
The OOCIC is comprised of the Ohio Attorney General's Office, Gallia County Sheriff Joseph Browning, Meigs County Sheriff Keith Wood, Middleport Police Chief Bruce Swift, Gallipolis Police Chief Clinton Patterson, Gallia County Prosecutor Jeff Adkins, and Meigs County Prosecutor Colleen Williams in an effort to fight drug abuse and drug trafficking in southeast Ohio, the release states.
"The Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission has the tools to help local law enforcement agencies fight crimes that cross county or state lines," said Attorney General Mike DeWine in the news release. "Drug abuse is an issue in every corner of the state, and this is a great example of agencies working together in the fight against drugs."
“This case shows that the combined efforts of law enforcement working together in southeast Ohio can help put a dent in the drug trafficking that is fueling thefts and burglaries," said Browning. "We appreciate the assistance of our neighboring jurisdictions in the task force, and we will have future arrests as a result of the ongoing investigations they are conducting."
“Drugs are an ongoing problem in southeast Ohio, and now with the assistance of OOCIC we have the resources and the manpower to be even more aggressive against the people bringing these substances into our communities,” said Wood.
Mitchell and Walker were both charged with felony possession of drugs and possession of heroin. Additional charges could be filed as well.