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Jul. 4—WASHINGTON COURT HOUSE — A long-standing undercover operation to thwart the sale of opioids and narcotics in four Ohio counties has culminated in the indictment of 45 people on drug-trafficking charges, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and Fayette County Sheriff Vernon Stanforth announced today.
"While most of us will be celebrating independence, this group of drug dealers behind bars won't make the picnic," Yost said. "Great job by this task force whose work to remove drug traffickers from our communities will prevent overdoses and save lives — now that's something to celebrate!"
"Operation Red, White and Bust" was conducted by the U.S. 23 Major Crimes Task Force, part of the Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission. The operation focused on traffickers in fentanyl, tramadol, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.
"This operation is not the end but merely a continuation of our collective efforts to keep drugs out of our neighborhoods," Sheriff Stanforth said. "This success is due to the cooperative efforts with many agencies, including the 23 Pipeline Task Force, the Attorney General's Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the U.S. Marshal's Service."
Twenty-nine of the 45 indicted individuals were arrested this week. They are:
Alec T. Ables, Bloomingsburg
Scott M. Angeletti, Washington Court House
Kevin H. Axline, Washington Court House
Heather R. Bost, Chillicothe
Dustin L. Browning, Jeffersonville
Guy Nathan Cambell, Washington Court House
Karie Campbell, Washington Court House
Zachary P. Dickens, Mount Sterling
Tyler J. Evans, Washington Court House
John R. Fowler, Washington Court House
Lindsey M. Gibson-Rader, Washington Court House
Corey S. Keller, Washington Court House
Dalton C. W. Knapp, Washington Court House
Ashley D. Lowe, Washington Court House
Ashley Martin, Grove City
Kenneth M. Matthews, Washington Court House
Robert L. McClendon, Washington Court House
Sean K. McKittrick, Washington Court House
Joshua R. Mick, Washington Court House
Chasity Mickle, Washington Court House
Anthony L. Nelson, Washington Court House
Durant E. Peters, Washington Court House
Alisha Rinehart, Jeffersonville
Katherine J. Ross, Jeffersonville
Nathaniel Ryan, Bloomingsburg
Brittani N. Stroup, Bloomingsburg
Holden A. Whaley, Washington Court House
Justin M. Wilson, Washington Court House
Kyle Wes Wilson, Washington Court House
Seven other individuals who were indicted as part of the operation were at large at the time that this press release was issued. The remaining nine indicted individuals were already in custody for other crimes.
An additional individual, Neathen McClendon, was indicted and arrested in early June as part of this operation.
Operation Red, White and Bust was conducted by the sheriff's offices of Fayette, Ross, Highland and Hocking counties, along with the Ohio Attorney General's Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Chillicothe Police Department. The U.S. Marshals Service and the Washington Court House Police Department assisted the task force in making the arrests.
Photographs of those arrested are available on the attorney general's Twitter page.