PLYMOUTH - Three men were arrested on heroin-related charges at a Plymouth mobile home Wednesday afternoon.
Willie S. Dye, 39, of 4100 Niver Road, Willard, was charged with complicity to possession of heroin. His nephew, Brandon Northcut, 25, of 4265 Ohio 61, Lot 30, Plymouth, was charged with possession of drug abuse instruments while another suspect, Dennis Pugh, 48, of the same address, faces one count of possession of heroin.
Authorities seized $900 in cash and a large amount of heroin while using a search warrant about 1:45 p.m. The bust was the result of an operation by METRICH, a 10-county drug task force.
"The suspects said there were 30 balloons of heroin," Huron County Sheriff's Capt. Bob McLaughlin said.
He was expected to bring the drugs to the Mansfield Police Department today, where the METRICH lab is, to analyze the drugs and paraphernalia for fingerprints.
"The investigation started the second week of January as a result of informant information and citizen complaints," McLaughlin said.
"Pugh had been driving to Columbus, Ohio to buy the drug once and sometimes, twice per week, for the last month. He would bring back approximately 70 balloons of heroin per trip, which were then sold to users in Huron County for $40 per balloon," the drug investigator said.
He said Pugh was accused of being involved in the assault of a Morrow County officer, so deputies used precaution when approaching him. He declined to elaborate.
Dye was hiding in a back bedroom belonging to Pugh's mother when officers arrived, but he didn't offer any resistance, McLaughlin said. Dye also was arrested on a Norwalk Municipal Court warrant. He was charged with failure to appear on a speeding charge stemming from a state Highway Patrol incident, a sheriff's dispatcher wrote.
Sgt. Mike Cooksey found two vials with heroin under the mattress of Pugh's mother's bed, McLaughlin said.
Detective Sgt. Dane Howard interviewed the suspects. When asked if there might be more arrests, Howard said: "We'll have to wait to see what direction the investigation goes."
McLaughlin said he earlier had been doing surveillance at the Plymouth mobile home park and saw several people, whom he called "known users" and Pugh's associates, "come and go." Starting Jan. 17, three people were arrested on outstanding warrants, but he said they weren't related to the heroin investigation.
"We found needles, but no heroin on them," McLaughlin added.
He said information about Columbus-area drug suppliers gained during Wednesday's incident will be forwarded to a narcotics unit in that area.
Northcut must post a $40,000 bond before being released from jail. Pugh and Dye remain in custody awaiting their bond hearings.