When officers opened the storage unit belonging to Jamie Mayle, they were met with bunk beds — hardly an indication of a connection to a drug investigation.
Box after box of junk was loaded into the moving vehicle used by the Muskingum County Sheriff’s Office. First a set of bunk beds was hauled out of the unit, then mattresses of varying sizes. Back and forth, authorities brought out what seemed to be a never-ending stream of car stereos, laptops, computer monitors and new clothes. Even a razor scooter and a safe were found among the hodgepodge of items in the unit.
The search was the third in a series conducted by the joint drug task force of the Muskingum County Sheriff’s Office and the Zanesville Police Department looking for drugs or items that had been allegedly stolen or purchased by the suspect — Mayle — using drugs or drug money.
The first search occurred Friday, after a drug investigation spanning many months had Mayle, a Zanesville resident, arrested for drug trafficking. This, Sheriff Matt Lutz said, is just the beginning of an investigation he believes will yield other suspects and charges.
Ola Blazer, Mayle’s mother, said the items were not paid for by drug money but by the $70,000 Mayle said he won playing blackjack at a casino a few months ago.
Mayle, 29, was arrested Friday by Newark police. At that point, he was searched, Lutz said, and an unspecified amount of marijuana was seized along with cash.
Mayle is being charged with four felony counts of trafficking in methamphetamine. One of the charges is a second-degree felony, two are third-degree and one is a fourth-degree. Mayle could face up to 19 years in jail if convicted on all counts. He is being detained in the Muskingum County Jail on a $300,000 bond.
His residence, a house at 1238 Melrose Ave., initially was searched Friday, where an unknown amount of methamphetamine was found. Blazer said there would be no way there were drugs in Mayle’s house other than marijuana, which she said she already knew he used.
“That’s not my son,” she said.
The residence was searched again Monday, when items believed to be purchased with drug money such as clothing and furniture were seized.
The storage unit at the Store N Go Storage off Greenhouse Road was the final place authorities searched for such items. No drugs were found at the storage unit, and no weapons have been found anywhere at this point, Lutz said.
This is not the first time Mayle has been arrested on drug charges. In 2006, he was arrested for possession and use of a controlled substance, for which he paid a fine of $200 and spent 20 days in jail with a 10-day suspended sentence. Later that year, Mayle was arrested on one count of possession of crack-cocaine, one count of possession of cocaine, and two counts of trafficking crack-cocaine with a school specification, for which he spent five years in prison.
His history of drug offenses is precisely why Mayle’s mother thinks he’s innocent this time. Blazer, who described her son as “a very loving person” and a “great father” to his three children, said her son no longer participates in such behavior, and said the police have it out for him after his former offenses.
“I talk to my son on a regular basis,” she said. “I would know. He would tell me. He told me (in 2006). Why wouldn’t he tell me now?”