An investigation by a newly formed Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission (OOCIC) task force has resulted in the arrest of two people and the seizure of cocaine, heroin and ecstasy.
Porter Mitchell, 38, of Gallipolis, and Michelle Walker, 36, of Rio Grande, were both arrested after task force members served search warrants at P.J.'s Pool Hall and a neighboring residence on State Route 7 North in Gallipolis just after midnight.
As a result, authorities found more than 140 grams of powered cocaine, 11 grams of heroin, and a small amount of ecstasy. More than $18,000 in cash was also seized.
Investigators said the pool hall was a front for an ongoing drug trafficking operation. Mitchell operated the establishment and lived next door.
The above mentioned agencies recently formed the OOCIC task force in an effort to fight drug abuse and drug trafficking in southeast Ohio. OOCIC is a division of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine's Office.
"The Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission has the tools to help local law enforcement agencies fight crimes that cross county or state lines," DeWine said. "Drug abuse is an issue in every corner of the state, and this is a great example of agencies working together in the fight against drugs."
“This case shows that the combined efforts of law enforcement working together in southeast Ohio can help put a dent in the drug trafficking that is fueling thefts and burglaries," Gallia County Sheriff Joseph Browning said. "We appreciate the assistance of our neighboring jurisdictions in the task force, and we will have future arrests as a result of the ongoing investigations they are conducting."
“Drugs are an ongoing problem in southeast Ohio, and now with the assistance of OOCIC we have the resources and the manpower to be even more aggressive against the people bringing these substances into our communities,” Meigs County Sheriff Keith Wood said.
Mitchell and Walker were both arrested on felony charges of possession of drugs and possession of heroin.
Additional charges could be filed.