Alleged Drug Ring Leaders Arraigned

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The three men being called the leaders of a drug ring that was busted last week were arraigned Wednesday in Athens County Common Pleas Court.

Derek James Gyure, 26, of Glouster, was given the largest bond to go with his plea of innocent. The alleged leader and “supplier” of the group was given a $1 million bond with no 10 percent allowed.

Gyure entered his plea to an indictment charging him with felony counts of aggravated possession of drugs, aggravated possession of drugs, tampering with evidence, having a weapon under disability, engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and possessing criminal tools.

John Casey Metcalf also appeared in court for his arraignment. Metcalf, 22, of Glouster, entered a plea of innocent to his indictment, charging him with four felony counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs, and felony charges of possession of marijuana, having weapons while under disability, possessing criminal tools and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity.

Metcalf received an $850,000 bond with no 10 percent allowed.

Both have a jury trial set for July 15.

Another alleged member of the ring, Billy Joe Haynes, 25, of Athens, was arraigned Wednesday, where he received a total of $200,000 bond on four different cases, including an indictment connected to the ring. In the case related to the alleged drug ring, Haynes is charged with two counts of fourth-degree felony trafficking in cocaine and one count of third-degree felony aggravated trafficking in drugs.

Haynes is also charged with escape and failing to appear on unrelated cases, two reasons Assistant Prosecutor Meg Saunders said he was a flight risk.

Judge George McCarthy agreed, assigning bond because Haynes raised a “public safety issue,” he said. A final pre-trial was scheduled for June 10 and a jury trial was scheduled for July 10.

Gyure, Metcalf and Haynes were part of a group of eight people arrested in connection with an alleged prescription drug ring, specifically focused on oxycodone, that Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn said extended from Athens County through Columbus and to the Detroit area.

The arrests came after a joint operation was conducted by the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office, the Athens County Sheriff’s Office, the Athens Police Department and the Ohio University Police Department, according to previous Messenger reporting.

Blackburn said at a press conference announcing the arrests that Gyure was “the top of the pyramid” and allegedly would travel to Detroit to buy the pills to supply to others in the Athens County area.

The others arrested in the operation were Bert C. Sharrer, Bert Sharrer, Jr., Kendra Sharrer, Tinkey Rutter and Ryan Rutherford.

The Sharrers were arraigned on May 13, and all pleaded innocent to the charges. Bert C. Sharrer received a $1 million bond, Bert Sharrer, Jr. and Kendra Sharrer both received $800,000 bonds.

Gyure, Metcalf and the Sharrers were all charged with engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity for their roles in the alleged ring.