New Scioto County Sheriff David Thoroughman was on the scene at a high-dollar drug bust in Franklin Furnance early Wednesday morning. Sheriff Thoroughman and Portsmouth Police Chief Debby Brewer jointly announced the arrests. The arrests came after an investigation by the Southern Ohio Drug Task Force. The task force is a joint effort by the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office, the Portsmouth Police Department, and the FBI.
Members of the Portsmouth PD SWAT stormed an RV and a residence at 2584 Cartro Road Franklin Furnace, Ohio at 7 am to look for narcotics.
Police said 53-year-old Larry Stapleton and 45-year-old Kelly McGowan lived in the residence. Stapleton owns the property. Robert Blanton, 57, lived in the recreational vehicle parked on the property.
Drugs, Guns, Cash Seized
Officers discovered and seized drugs with an estimated street value of $36,200 as well as cash and guns. Here’s what they found:
- Approximately 635 grams of suspected methamphetamine, a.k.a “ice”,
- 90 grams of suspected fentanyl
- 7 firearms
- $28,308 cash
Officials said they also collected additional evidence of drug trafficking.
Police charged Blanton, Stapleton, and McGowan with Trafficking and Possession of Drugs. Both crimes are 1st-degree felonies. Additionally, officers charged Blanton with Having a Weapon While Under Disability. That crime is a 3rd-degree felony.
Officers transported all three suspects to the Scioto County Jail. The three are scheduled for arraignment in Portsmouth Municipal Court on Friday, January 8, 2021, at 9 am. The Scioto County Prosecutor’s Office will present the case to a Scioto County Grand Jury for the consideration of additional felony charges against all arrestees.
Sheriff Thoroughman and Chief Brewer thanked the tactical medics from the Portsmouth Fire Department for their assistance with execution of the warrants. They reminded citizens that anyone wishing to leave drug information for the Southern Ohio Drug Task Force can phone the Task Force tip line at (740) 354-5656 or email [email protected]com. The Scioto County Sheriff’s Office and Portsmouth Police keep all information confidential and anonymous.