Mansfield police recover almost a kilo of suspect cocaine

A 35-year-old city man authorities call a “major supplier” is off the streets after a large bust.

Greg Keathley’s 743 Bowman St. home was searched Jan. 8. Authorities reported finding nearly a kilo of suspected powder cocaine, 52 grams of suspected heroin, $1,790 in cash and a .380 Smith & Wesson. Police said they found the gun in an open diaper box.

City police made the announcement Thursday.

The suspected cocaine would have a street value of anywhere from $24,000 to $32,000. The suspected heroin would cost an additional $6,000.

“It was a significant find,” METRICH Enforcement Unit Commander Lt. Keith Porch said.

Keathley is being held on a probation violation. Porch said he faces charges of possession of cocaine and heroin, trafficking in cocaine and heroin, having weapons under disability and child endangering. There were two children in the house, police said.

Authorities made the find during a routine home check.

“It was a great example of networking and collaboration,” Mansfield police Chief Ken Coontz said. “With this case, the U.S. Marshal’s office and probation/parole did a home visit and discovered drugs in the home.”

Those entities contacted METRICH, which returned to search the residence.

“Everybody has less resources today,” Coontz said. “In order to survive, we have to continue to collaborate with other agencies.”

METRICH detectives found the suspected drugs under floorboards in the attic.

Porch said Keathley has a long history of drug offenses and convictions.

“He’s currently on probation,” Porch said. “He had just been released from prison and was getting sentenced on other offenses this week.

“He’s a major supplier for other dealers within Mansfield and the Richland County area.”

Porch said he’s always amazed that people who are on probation and are subject to home visits have drugs or weapons in their residences.

The METRICH commander added he doesn’t think Keathley will be in that position again for the foreseeable future.

“He’ll be in prison a long time,” Porch said. “We’re going to seek to take it federal because of the sheer amount (of suspected drugs).”

Coontz added: “I’m pretty excited about getting that amount of drugs off the street.”

Originally published in the News Journal on January 17, 2014.

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