Updated Wed, Sep 4, 2013 4:50 pm
More charges may be pending from a spring 2011 drug bust that already netted seven arrests. The Perry County Grand Jury handed down indictments to those seven county residents suspected in a prescription drug trafficking ring.
The Central Ohio Drug Enforcement Task Force and agents with the Ohio Board of Pharmacy conducted an investigation into the illegal sale of prescription drugs in Perry County; the result was a series of arrests beginning with 29-year old Shawn Hale of Roseville. Hale and his father, 56-year old Russell Hale of New Lexington, are alleged to have carried out a plan that investigators termed “doctor shopping” where the senior Hale would visit multiple physicians across the state to acquire prescriptions. According to a press release from the Perry County Sheriff’s Department the Hales, with the help of a ring of accomplices, then sold off the prescriptions. Shawn Hale is currently facing four counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs with a juvenile specification- each a third degree felony. Hale is alleged to have conducted the prescription drug sales from the home he shares with his girlfriend, 30-year old
Crystal McCray and their two young children. Hale is also facing one count of aggravated trafficking in drugs with a juvenile specification (a second degree felony), one count of aggravated trafficking in drugs (fourth degree) and one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a first degree felony. For her role in the drug ring, McCray is facing four counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs with a juvenile specification- each a third degree felony. Russell Hale is facing five counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs with forfeiture specification, each a fourth degree felony, one count of aggravated trafficking in drugs (third degree), two counts of deception to obtain drugs (second degree) and one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a first degree felony.
According to the Perry County Sheriff’s Department, the continued investigation into the ring revealed that Hale was also being supplied prescription drugs from 30-year old Melissa Howell of New Lexington and 47-year old Wendy Bailey of Somerset. Howell and Bailey have both been charged with one count of aggravated trafficking in drugs and Bailey is also facing four counts of deception to obtain drugs. Howell and Bailey were assisted by 45-year old Regina Houston of New Lexington who allegedly provided transportation that facilitated the drug trafficking efforts of Howell and Bailey. Investigators also identified Russell
Hale’s brother, 27-year old Christopher Brandon Hale of New Lexington, as a suspect. who was also visiting multiple doctors and deceiving them to obtain prescription drugs. Christopher Hale was charged with two fourth degree felony counts of deception to obtain dangerous drugs and three fifth degree felony counts of deception to obtain dangerous drugs. The case remains under investigation and further persons may be charged as a result.