2 Gallia residents arrested on drug charges
Amber Gillenwater email@example.com
GALLIPOLIS — Two people arrested following a major drug bust in December at a pool hall in the Kanauga area were recently arraigned in the Gallia County Common Pleas Court on multiple felony charges.
Porter Mitchell, 38, of Gallipolis, and Michelle Walker, 36, of Thurman, were both arrested during the early morning hours on Dec. 10 after members of the Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission Gallia-Meigs Task Force served search warrants at P.J.’s Pool Hall and a neighboring residence on Ohio 7 North in Kanauga area just after midnight.
As a result of the search, authorities found more than 130 grams of powdered cocaine, nine grams of heroin and a small amount of ecstasy. More than $18,00o in cash was also seized.
Investigators subsequently reported that the pool hall was the front for an ongoing drug trafficking operation. Mitchell reportedly operated the establishment and lived next door.
Mitchell’s indictment, filed on Feb. 7, outlines seven charges that allege Mitchell was in the possession of 131.86 grams of cocaine and 9.25 grams of heroin, and had prepared the drugs for sale or resale, along with 149.39 grams of marijuana. The indictment further states Mitchell was in possession of N-benzylpiperazine (BZP) in the amount of 0.59 grams, or two tablets, on Dec. 10 and was in the possession of a .40 caliber Taurus PT24/7 handgun having been previously convicted of a felony offense of violence.
According to documents, Mitchell had previously been convicted of carrying a concealed weapon in 1997 and attempted improper use of discharging a firearm into a habitation in 1998, both in Gallia County Common Pleas Court. He was also reportedly previously convicted of the possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine in U.S. District Court.
Walker reportedly has no prior criminal record.
During Mitchell’s arraignment hearing last week, he was found indigent and defense attorney Richard Hedges was appointed to represent him.
He pleaded not guilty and was later released on his own recognizance.
Walker was similarly charged with seven felony counts, including three counts of trafficking drugs, three counts of drug possession and one count of tampering with evidence.
According to Walker’s indictment, on the night of the raid, she allegedly threw a container disguised as a beer can into the trash — a can that allegedly contained illegal drugs — in an attempt to impair its value in the proceeding investigation.
During her arraignment hearing earlier this month, Walker entered a plea of not guilty and Barbara Wallen was appointed as counsel for the defendant in this case.
She was also released on an own recognizance bond following the hearing.
Walker was further ordered to have no contact with Mitchell or P.J.’s Pool Hall.
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