GALLIPOLIS — The Gallia County and Meigs County sheriff’s offices, in conjunction with the Meigs-Gallia Major Crimes Task Force, enacted search warrants on a suspected significant drug hub around 4:45 a.m. Friday on State Route 7 in the Kanauga area.
According to Gallia Sheriff’s Office Chief of Deputies Dick Grau, after a lengthy investigation and several months, law enforcement was able to put together information and receive indictments on several individuals in the community tied to the pool hall on State Route 7 once referred to as the G-Spot. The location recently changed its name to Rack ’Em Billiards and Grill.
Police executed actions at roughly 4:45 a.m. at five different locations throughout Gallia County with search warrants involved, some of those being no-knock, night search warrants. Three were taken into custody. The investigation is still currently ongoing. Three individual SWAT teams were utilized.
Another location near the billiards hall on Hubbard Avenue was also being searched by officers.
Gallia County Sheriff Joe Browning says the billiards location was a suspected hub of drug activity and a place commonly frequented by persons of interest in investigated crimes. A married pair, the McKinsters, were arrested last year as part of an investigation hinting they had allegedly been seen at the billiards hall and engaging in suspicious activity. Kyle McKinster was convicted of armed robbery on crimes related to threatening a store clerk with a knife at a gas station on Jackson Pike.
According to Gallia County Prosecutor Jeff Adkins, a special hearing had to be conducted in order to enact no-knock, night time search warrants. Police had been hearing crime tips about the location since it first opened in 2013.
“This pool hall has been a hub of activity over the last few years,” Browning said. “We’re glad to see these warrants enacted. We believe (the billiards hall) has been a significant source of many of the criminal problems in our county.”
“Hopefully we can get some relief for the people in this area through the legal system and peace for the victims of crimes (potentially) linked to this place,” Adkins said.
According to a press release from Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office, of the three individuals arrested Friday, Antonio D. McIntosh, 36, of Gallipolis, was indicted on 13 counts, including charges of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, possession of cocaine and crack cocaine, and trafficking in cocaine and crack cocaine.
Stan D. Helms, 40, of Columbus, was indicted on 11 counts, including charges of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, possession of crack cocaine, and trafficking in crack cocaine.
Natasha L. Quesinberry, 23, of Washington Court House, was indicted on one count of trafficking in cocaine and one count of possession of cocaine.
Investigators believe the alleged criminal enterprise brought cocaine and crack cocaine from central Ohio and distributed it to residents of Gallia and Meigs counties in Ohio and Mason County, W.Va. More arrests are expected.
Also assisting in the investigation were the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Ohio State Highway Patrol. Middleport and Gallipolis police departments also have members in the Gallia-Meigs Major Crimes Task Force.
“Drug abuse is a problem in every corner of the state,” Attorney General DeWine said. “Dismantling drug trafficking operations is part of the solution, and I commend the hard work of law enforcement in this case.”
Established in 1986, the Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission assists local law enforcement agencies in combating organized crime and corrupt activities. The commission is composed of members of the law enforcement community and is chaired by the Ohio Attorney General.
Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2342, Ext. 2103.