Fourteen Charged in Alleged Athens County Drug Ring< < Back to
UPDATE 11:30 A.M. 8/23 – Two more people allegedly connected to an Athens County drug ring have been apprehended and appeared in court.
Athens County Common Pleas Judge George McCarthy set bond at $250,000 for Kasandra Curry, according to the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office. Curry is accused of buying enough heroin and methamphetamine to sell on multiple occasions from the alleged supplier of the ring, Jessica Morris. A court date was set for October 3.
The prosecutor’s office also confirmed Paul Curry, who is accused of contacting Morris to purchase heroin and methamphetamine was apprehended. He appeared on Friday in Athens County court, and was released on a recognizance bond.
More charges could come from the arrests made in the alleged drug ring.
Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn did not specify the nature of the additional charges because the investigation is ongoing. He did say, however, that those who are already incarcerated in Ohio will appear in Athens County within the next few weeks.
Morris was indicted in February on charges of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, along with having weapons while under disability, money laundering and obstructing justice. A court date for A pre-trial date has been scheduled for September 3, and a jury trial is tentatively set for September 16.
While Blackburn acknowledges the number of arrests in this bust is significant, he said he sees this case as “a way of giving us another opportunity to get these people help,” he told WOUB on Friday.
“We can not arrest our way out of this problem,” Blackburn said. “We hope people who are victims of addiction will see this and come in so we can help them.”
Four people with nationwide warrants in connection with the alleged drug operation remain at-large.
ATHENS, Ohio — Fourteen people have been charged with various crimes related to an alleged drug ring in Athens County.
Jessica Morris, of Fairfield County, Ohio, is accused of supplying what the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office called a major operation. She is charged with engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity involving the trafficking of methamphetamine, heroin, and cocaine in excess of bulk amount, which was allegedly distributed throughout the county.
Four people alleged to have been part of Morris’ operation remain at-large with nationwide warrants:
George Cloud and Natalie Geer-Cloud (aka Natalie Hoffman) are accused of of contacting Morris to purchase methamphetamine and heroin. It is believed that Geer-Cloud was a “runner” for another man accused of distributing heroin and methamphetamine in Athens.
Chase Malloy is accused of purchasing heroin and methamphetamine on multiple occasions from Morris with intent to distribute.
Brian Thompson is alleged to have purchased large quantities of heroin and methamphetamine from Morris on multiple occasions. He has also been accused of assisting other individuals with buying enough drugs from Morris to sell.
Anyone with information regarding the current whereabouts of these individuals is asked to contact the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office at 740-592-3208.
Eight others alleged to have been involved in the operation are in custody:
Eric Barron is accused of trafficking in heroin and methamphetamine. He was arrested Wednesday and is currently being held with bond set at $50,000 cash or surety.
Brandon “Coy” Hawk is accused of purchasing enough heroin and methamphetamine from Morris to sell numerous times and serving as her “inventory handler” in Athens County. He is currently being held at the North Central Correctional Institution in Marion, Ohio.
Ryan Lowe allegedly communicated with Morris on numerous occasions to purchase methamphetamine. He is currently incarcerated at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient, Ohio.
Earl “Jake” McKee, Jr. is accused of purchasing large amounts of heroin and methamphetamine from Morris. He is currently incarcerated at Madison Correctional Institution.
Nicholas Nelson is accused of buying enough heroin and methamphetamine to sell on multiple occasions from Morris. He was arraigned Wednesday, at which time his bond was set at $75,000 cash or surety.
Jimmy Stepp is accused of frequently visiting Morris’ mother’s house in Lancaster in order to “reup” and sell drugs in Athens County. Stepp is currently serving time at the Pickaway Correctional Institution in Orient, Ohio.
Gina Sufronko allegedly communicated with Morris on numerous occasions to purchase methamphetamine. She was arrested on Wednesday and is being held on $100,000 cash or surety bond.
Kimberly Young is accused of purchasing illegal drugs from Morris to resell. She was arraigned Wednesday, at which time her bond was set at $75,000 cash or surety.
The indictments are the result of a long-term investigation by the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office and the Athens County Major Crimes Unit, with assistance from Fairfield MCU, Hocking County MCU, Nelsonville Police Department and the Athens County Sheriff’s Office