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Pike County authorities charge 17 in connection to drug trafficking ring

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Posted at 1:51 PM, Jul 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-06 14:18:56-04

WAVERLY, Ohio -- Pike County authorities have charged 17 people in connection to a drug trafficking ring, they announced Thursday.

Authorities said the group was trafficking methamphetamine and heroin believed to contain fentanyl, WBNS reported.

Richard Smith, who was already an inmate in the Ohio prison system, was directing the group, investigators said. Sheriff Charles Reader said some of those arrested have ties to gangs operating in Ohio.

Smith was charged with engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, conspiracy, funding drug trafficking and drug trafficking.

Also charged were:

  • Chasity Gillenwater; engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, conspiracy, drug trafficking, funding drug trafficking, possession of a controlled substance and tampering with evidence
  • Christopher Smith; engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, drug trafficking, conspiracy and funding drug trafficking
  • Jackie Smith; engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, drug trafficking, conspirary and funding drug trafficking
  • William Schneider; engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, drug trafficking, conspiracy, funding drug trafficking and possession of a controlled substance
  • Donyiel Montgomery; engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, drug trafficking, conspiracy, funding drug trafficking and possession of a controlled substance
  • Ben Hatmacher; engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, drug trafficking and possession of a controlled substance
  • Claudia Wicker; engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, drug trafficking, conspiracy, funding drug trafficking and possession of a controlled substance
  • David Crabtree Jr.; engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, drug trafficking, conspiracy and drug trafficking
  • Ashley Crabtree; engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, drug trafficking, conspiracy and funding drug trafficking
  • Brian Lawson; engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, drug trafficking, conspiracy, funding drug trafficking and possession of a controlled substance
  • Brittany Ruth; engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, drug trafficking, conspiracy, funding drug trafficking, possession of a controlled substance and tampering with evidence
  • David Crabtree Sr.; engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, drug trafficking, conspiracy, funding drug trafficking, possession of a controlled substance, tampering with evidence and drug trafficking
  • Courtney Crabtree; tampering with evidence

Charges are pending for April Smith and Brian Carter, authorities said.

Also, authorities are looking for Elvie Royster, who is wanted for questioning. They said he has ties to the Konvicted Family gang and has not been seen or heard from since June 20, when authorities executed multiple search warrants in Pike County.