Trish Bennett, Editor
CIRCLEVILLE – Pickaway County Sheriff deputies assisted Thursday in an operation in Pike County that led to the arrest of a Rhoden family member on drug trafficking charges.
According to Mike DeWine, Ohio Attorney General, the case is not related to the homicides of eight Rhoden family members in Pike County last year, although evidence for the drug case was discovered during that investigation.
Josh Rhoden, 38, was arrested on a felony charge of drug trafficking, according to a press release from DeWine and Sheriff Charles Reader, Pike County Sheriff. John McJunkin, 63, also was arrested on a felony charge of possession of drugs.
DeWine said search warrants were served on both suspects’ homes on Grassy Fork Road in Peebles, where more than $8,000 in cash was seized, along with an estimated $7,700 in prescription pills, nine guns and a small amount of marijuana.
Sheriff Robert Radcliff, Pickaway County Sheriff, said investigators requested the use of the Pickaway County Special Response Team to secure one of the two residences for the Pike County Sheriff’s Office, the U.S. 23 Pipeline Major Crimes Task Force and the Bureau of Criminal Investigation to execute the search warrants.
The Ross County Sheriff’s Office was responsible for securing the second location, Radcliff said.
“Our task force includes Pike County, so when you’re doing drug investigations, that’s how far our reach extends conducting these drug investigations,” Radcliff said. “We’ve had their help up here before, too, all through the collaboration of this task force. Obviously this one is significant because of the name involved down there.”
Radcliff said he and eight other detectives and deputies assisted on the scene Thursday, and the residence was secured quickly and without incident.
“Our guys did a good job,” Radcliff said. “They were very professional and able to secure the scene quickly so the investigators could then come in and conduct the search warrant.
Radcliff said one Pickaway County detective who serves as a member of the task force also assisted with executing the warrant on Thursday.
DeWine said the drug case remains under investigation. Assistance also was provided by the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Pike County Probation Department.
The ongoing homicide investigation involves eight members of the Rhoden family who were discovered dead April 22, 2016, after being shot “execution style” in their homes. No arrests in that case have yet been made.
The victims were identified as Hannah Gilley, age 20; Christopher Rhoden Sr., age 40; Christopher Rhoden Jr., age 16; Clarence “Frankie” Rhoden, age 20; Dana Rhoden, age 37; Gary Rhoden, age 38; Hanna Rhoden, age 19; and Kenneth Rhoden, age 44.
Authorities continue to request that anyone with information on the ongoing homicide investigation call 1-855-BCI-OHIO (224-6446) or the Pike County Sheriff’s Office at 740-947-2111.
This article originally appeared on The Pickaway News Journal