Two indicted in prison drug trafficking conspiracy

Two men face multiple felonies after they allegedly worked to smuggle drugs into prison. They also allegedly supplied drugs to a woman who later died of an overdose.

Bryant Boyd, 41, of Port Clinton, and Corwin Qualls, 40, of Toledo, were each charged with engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and three conspiracy charges for allegedly engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, drug trafficking and illegal conveyance of drugs.

Boyd was also charged with complicity to corrupt another with drugs and illegal conveyance of drugs into a prison. Qualls also faces charges of complicity in the illegal conveyance of drug into a prison and corrupting another with drugs.

The charges stem from a joint investigation by the Ottawa County Drug Task Force and the Port Clinton Police Department.

Boyd is serving five and half years in prison after the Ottawa County Common Pleas Court found him guilty of drug trafficking in 2017.

While he was in prison, Boyd allegedly arranged for a woman to smuggle drugs into the facility so he could sell them, according to the drug task force.

The woman Boyd contacted allegedly received heroin from Qualls and snuck it into prison. Task force agents said the woman brought drugs to Boyd on at least three occasions while he was incarcerated at the Marion Correctional Institution and the Noble Correctional Institution.

“Believe it or not, it’s common for inmates to smuggle drugs into prison to sell,” drug task force commander Carl Rider said. “They can make a lot more money in prison because of supply and demand. Then they get the money to someone on the outside.”

Boyd would allegedly give the profits he made in prison to the woman during a visit. It’s believed this person was saving money for after Boyd’s prison term, according to the drug task force.

Eventually, the woman allegedly picked up what she thought was heroin from Qualls. In reality, it was fentanyl, and she later died of an overdose in Port Clinton, Rider said.

Fentanyl is estimated to be 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and is the cause of more than half of all overdoses, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

“She had almost twice the lethal dose of fentanyl in her system,” Rider said.

After the overdose, the drug task force and Port Clinton police launched the investigation, which eventually led them to Boyd and Qualls. The investigation is ongoing and additional charges may be filed against the pair in the future.

Qualls had his arraignment Tuesday in Ottawa County Common Pleas Court, where he pleaded not guilty. He’s held in the county jail on a $1 million bond.

Boyd was moved to the Lebanon Correctional Facility when it was discovered he allegedly sold drugs at the Noble Correctional Institution.

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