Ryan Scott Ottney
PDT Staff Writer
Officers from the Southern Ohio Drug Task Force and the Ohio State Parks Officers seized nearly 500 grams of heroin in Scioto County Thursday. Scioto County Sheriff Marty V. Donini and Portsmouth Police Chief Robert Ware said this is thought to be the largest single seizure of heroin ever made in Scioto County.
According to Donini, Ohio State Parks Officers notified the Southern Ohio Drug Task Force at about 3:49 p.m. Thursday that a large amount of heroin and cash had been located on Ohio Department of Natural Resources property. At that time Task Force Officers began a joint operation with Ohio State Parks law enforcement. Over one pound (approximately 489.5 grams) of suspected heroin, at an estimated street value of about $74,000, and about $12,000 U.S. currency had been recovered on the property located in West Portsmouth, Ohio.
During their investigation, Task Force and Park Officers conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle which was being driven by 24-year-old Phillip T. Hanson-Bass, of Dayton. During a search of the vehicle, officers discovered a loaded, 9mm, semi-automatic handgun in a hidden compartment in the vehicle, more than $1,000 cash, and evidence tying Hanson-Bass and 24-year-old passenger, Robert C. Woods Jr., of Dayton, to the suspected heroin discovered.
Both were arrested and charged with trafficking in heroin (a felony of the first degree), possession of heroin (a felony of the 1st degree), and having a weapon while under disability (a felony of the third degree), and both were placed in the Scioto County Jail on a $515,000 bond each.
With the assistance of the Adams County Sheriff’s Office and the West Union Police Department, officers from the Task Force and Park Service conducted an additional traffic stop on SR 125 in West Union, of a vehicle that was operated by 21-year-old Ryan L. Starks, and occupied by 28-year-old Sashia M. Woods, both Portsmouth. More than $800 cash and suspected illegal substances were discovered in the vehicle. Both were arrested and charged with trafficking in heroin (felony of the first degree) and possession of heroin (a felony of the first degree) and were placed in the Scioto County Jail on a $500,000 bond each.
According to Task Force and Park Officers, the investigation is ongoing and future arrests may be made. Sheriff Donini and Chief Ware commended the agencies for working together and also thank the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation for their assistance. They request anyone who wishes to leave drug information for the Southern Ohio Drug Task Force to contact the Task Force tip line at 740-354-5656 or e-mail email@example.com.
All information will be kept confidential and anonymous.
Ryan Scott Ottney may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Ryan on Twitter @PDTwriter.