An unnamed drug operation Thursday night may not have garnered the greatest numbers, but it sent a message.
“We’ve had good success in the city of Rittman,” said Medway director Dave Smith. “We felt it was time a message needed to be sent that we’re out there.”
A total of 23 people were indicted (12 total were arrested — 10 on Thursday and two more Oct. 31) on a variety of drug trafficking charges, mostly in prescription opiate-based pills. Medway led an operation to serve arrest warrants on those described mostly as mid-level drug dealers.
“We’ve seen a steady increase in prescription drugs,” Smith added. “It’s an epidemic.”
Senior Medway agent Don Hall said Thursday’s operation, mostly in Rittman but also including residents of Creston and Orrville, was the result of a year-long investigation. All of those indicted were charged with trafficking in pills — ranging from suboxone to oxycodone and hydrocodone — but also included some individuals trafficking in heroin, cocaine and one in marijuana.
The last Medway roundup was in November 2012 and included mostly Wooster area dealers.
Hall said operations are dictated by their confidential informants and this time their drug buys centered in Rittman and the surrounding area.
When Team Bravo showed up at a Shondel Road residence with arrest warrants for Charles D. Honaker and Sara W. Williams, who were arrested without incident, there was a man and woman in an SUV out front, and they got more than they bargained for when six cruisers pulled in.
A man told deputies and police officers he came to the home to get $20 owed him because he was out of work and needed the money. However, when he was searched, he was discovered to be carrying $100. The couple didn’t get any money, but citations for minor misdemeanors were written for possession of a substance suspected to be marijuana and suspected drug paraphernalia. There was an outstanding warrant for the man’s arrest in Colorado. Neither one had a license, and the man was carrying a hunting knife and a pocket knife. Wayne County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Ryan Peterman ordered the knife be placed on the dash.
Also, while law enforcement officials were searching the Shondel Road home and premises, Medway’s Hall saw two people walking down a long lane to the house. He approached them and questioned them.
Rittman Police Sgt. Roger Pauley lead Team Bravo. He and his team made quick work of their list, taking three people into custody, including Alan Brunet of Westhill Avenue, within 90 minutes. A fourth was already in custody.
Meanwhile, Team Delta was empty-handed until it located Michelle Mueller at her grandparents’ home in Rittman.
Mueller nonchalantly walked out of the home smoking a cigarette escorted by Rittman police officers. She was found with $201 in cash on her person when she was arrested without incident.
Attorneys who were traveling with Team Delta had to discuss whether or not officers could search Mueller’s room. Where she gave consent to the search, her grandfather did not and an attorney advised that the primary property owner’s consent trumps others who may be staying as guests.
Arrested in the round-up were:
— Marilyn Greathouse, 51, 1111 N. Elm St., Apt. J, Orrville; trafficking in oxycodone within the vicinity of a school
— Alan Brunet, 44, 89 W. Hill Ave., Rittman; multiple counts of trafficking in suboxone
— Charles Honaker, 43, 13826 Hametown Road, Doylestown; two counts of trafficking in heroin, trafficking in oxycodone
— Sara Williams, 29, 794 E. Sterling Road, Creston; four counts of trafficking in heroin
— Corri Pettijohn, 37, 140 S. Main St., Rittman; two counts of trafficking in heroin
— Michele Mueller, 30, 84 W. Liberty St., Rittman; trafficking in heroin
— Anton Easter, 44, 1873 Collier Road, Akron; two counts of trafficking in cocaine
— Brian Karavantas, 19, 532 Lake St., Kent; trafficking in marijuana
— Arthur Brunette, 45, 28 E. Ohio St., Rittman; two counts of trafficking in heroin, two counts of trafficking in cocaine, and one count of trafficking percocet (a Schedule II narcotic)
— Jerry Moore, Jr., 44, 1081⁄2 Maple Ave., Creston; two counts of trafficking in heroin and illegal assembly of chemicals used to manufacture drugs
— Kylie Rader, 34, 1081⁄2 Maple Ave., Creston; trafficking in suboxone
— Joe Cook, 23, 62 E. Market St., Seville; trafficking in heroin
Even though this drug roundup was not as big as most, Sheriff Travis Hutchinson said it was beneficial. He likes getting drug dealers off of the streets as quickly as possible.
“I want these people to know they are not welcome in Wayne County,” Hutchinson said. “They need to know if they come here, we are going to aggressively pursue them.”
Reporter Steve Huszai can be reached at 330-287-1645 or firstname.lastname@example.org. He is @GeneralSmithie on Twitter.