Home News 60 arraigned Monday in connection with heroin ring

60 arraigned Monday in connection with heroin ring


Trish Bennett, Editor

CIRCLEVILLE – Sixty people were arraigned Monday in Pickaway County Common Pleas Court in connection with a drug ring operating between Columbus and Circleville.

According to Judy Wolford, Pickaway County Prosecutor, all suspects pleaded not guilty on Monday and were set for a pretrial hearing at 1 p.m. April 17.

About half of those arrested last week had bonded out of the Pickaway County Jail to await arraignment on Monday. Bond was continued for all but one of those suspects, Shannon Schwalbauch, 40, of Circleville, who was arrested again over the weekend on an unrelated charge of theft from the Speedway store on North Court Street.

A remaining 12 suspects have not yet been arrested in the case that saw 72 people indicted on drug-related charges March 20 by the Pickaway County Grand Jury.

A total of 59 suspects had been arrested or accounted for by late Friday afternoon. One additional suspect – Cary Gilpen III, 23, of Circleville – was taken into custody Friday night on two counts of possession of cocaine.

The indictments were announed at a press conference March 25 with Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and local officials.

DeWine said the upper and middle management of the drug ring had been selling heroin in Pickaway County like a pizza delivery business, setting up shop in various homes, taking orders by phone and delivering the drugs to buyers throughout the area.

The indictments were the result of an eight-month investigation initiated by Chief Wayne Gray and conducted by the Circleville Police Department and the Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office with the support of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI) and the Ohio Attorney General’s Heroin Unit.

Of the 72 indicted, the majority are charged with possession of heroin and/or cocaine. Seventeen of the suspects are charged with trafficking in heroin and/or cocaine, and of those, 11 are facing more serious charges of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.

The names of the 12 remaining suspects have not yet been released pending their arrests. Those currently in custody or accounted for are:

Charged with Trafficking in Heroin, Trafficking in Cocaine and Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity:

1. Michael Binkley II, 33, of Circleville
2. Jessica Dodge, 34, of Circleville
3. Dejon Dunning, 27, of Lancaster
4. Nicole Grambo, 35, of Circleville
5. David Caslin, 44, of Columbus

Charged with Trafficking in Heroin and Trafficking in Cocaine:

1. Rodney Evans, 46, of Circleville
2. Elisa Leasure, 41, of Circleville
3. Arnold Pennington Jr., 35, of Circleville
4. Lindsey Pyle, 20, of Circleville
5. Pam Swift, 44, of Lancaster
6. Betsy Vangundy, 22, of Circleville

Charged with Possession of Heroin and/or Possession of Cocaine:

1. Mary Barton, 22, of Circleville
2. Julia Boyer, 45, of Circleville
3. Terri Byrd, 24, of Circleville
4. Donald Cassady, 44, of Orient
5. Mallory Cordell, 20, of Circleville
6. Elyse Craig, 25, of Circleville
7. Joshua Cross, 33, of Circleville
8. Roger Derr, 40, of Circleville
9. Gwen Draise, 37, of Stoutsville
10. Sherri Evans, 45, of Circleville
11. Dustin Fausnaugh, 25, of Circleville
12. Daniel Ferry, 54, of Williamsport
13. Amy Frazier, 36, of Circleville
14. Cary Gilpen III, 23, of Circleville
15. Harold David Hamilton, 60, of Clarksburg
16. Kenneth Hardman, 40, of Circleville
17. Rhonda Hardman, 42, of Circleville
18. John F. Hill, 49, of Circleville
19. Thomas B. Hunt, 47, of Circleville
20. Christina Jenkins, 34, of Circleville
21. Jason Johnston, 36, of Circleville
22. Tyler Johnson, 23, of Circleville
23. Travis Kellough, 24, of Circleville
24. Jason Lambert, 41, of Circleville
25. Melaine Lambiase, 26, of Circleville
26. Nicole Leasure, 39, of Circleville
27. Bobby Lowery, 39, of Circleville
28. Cody McKibben, 24, of Circleville
29. Rusti Neff, 28, of Circleville
30. Tim Neff Jr., 35, of Circleville
31. Brian Parmer, 34, of Circleville
32. Michelle Parmer, 34, of Circleville
33. Jaime Pennington, 38, of Circleville
34. Carre Perkins, 49, of Laurelville
35. Kendra Queen, 25, of Circleville
36. Jessica Quito, 31, of Circleville
37. Philip Reichelderfer, 32, of Circleville
38. Carla Riffle, 42, of Circleville
39. Renee Rittenhouse, 32, of Circleville
40. Heath Rowland, 26, of Circleville
41. Shannon Schwalbauch, 40, of Circleville
42. Laurie Smith, 38, of Circleville
43. Terra Smith, 38, of Circleville
44. Billie Jo Thompson, 38, of Circleville
45. Tamera Thornton, 55, of Circleville
46. Mary Walker, 50, of Circleville
47. James Williams, 60, of Circleville
48. Cassandra Young, 34, of Williamsport

Charged with permitting drug abuse with a vehicle forfeiture:

1. Doris Riffle, 81, of Circleville

This article originally appeared on The Pickaway News Journal