Drug trafficking suspect found dead from apparent suicide

A Ross County man arrested in a pair of drug raids this month was found dead from an apparent suicide Tuesday in his cell at the Pickaway County Jail.

Raymond D. Tackett Jr., 32, was found hanging from a bedsheet at 4:33 a.m. during hourly rounds by corrections officers, Pickaway County Sheriff’s Lt. Troy Rine said.

Jail staff got Tackett down and immediately began CPR, but he was unresponsive, Rine said. Tackett was taken by ambulance to Berger Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 5:18 a.m.

Tackett was not on suicide watch at the time and had not given any indications to the jail staff that he might harm himself, Rine said.

Tackett’s body has been taken to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office for an autopsy, which was ordered by Dr. John Ellis, Pickaway County coroner.

Tackett had been in the Pickaway County Jail since Dec. 19, when he and four others were arrested in a sting operation at a Circleville area motel on U.S. 23. Members of the U.S. 23 Major Crimes Task Force tracked and surveilled the alleged drug activity before making the arrests. In the process, they reported seizing 8 grams of suspected heroin, 5 grams of suspected crack cocaine, more than $2,000 in cash and other drug instruments and paraphernalia.

Tackett was charged trafficking heroin and trafficking crack cocaine, both second-degree felonies. Ashley Rowley, the 29-year-old woman authorities identified as his girlfriend, was charged with felony possession of both heroin and crack cocaine.

Tackett and Rowley were previously arrested Dec. 11 in the same Ross County raid at 467 U.S. 23 that saw Krystal Barrows, 35, suffer a fatal gunshot wound to the head from an errant law enforcement round.

After the Dec. 11 raid, Tackett was taken into custody on a warrant from Pickaway County; Rowley, on an endangering children charge. They were later released on bond.

Rowley remains at the Pickaway County Jail, as do three other suspects arrested on drug charges in the Dec. 18 raid, according to online jail records.