Every plan leaves a pattern and when Williams County Sheriff’s Deputy Michelle Jacob uncovered a pattern of misconduct involving 14 people, she and Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Staci Stiriz launched a long-term investigation that brought every one of them to justice, with the last one receiving his sentence on Thursday.
Jacob, a member of northwest Ohio’s Multi-Area Narcotics Task Force (MAN Unit), “noticed multiple overdoses of different individuals at the same location over the course of several weeks,” Stiriz said in a press release Monday morning. “This led to the execution of warrants for arrests and search warrants.”
All 14 were indicted in 2019 on first-degree felony charges of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity “for their roles in distributing methamphetamine throughout northwest Ohio,” Stiriz said. “All indicated the main reason for their involvement was their own underlying addiction. Property seized during the investigation included money, drugs and guns. It was obvious from interviews that this ring was easily trafficking a pound of methamphetamine or more every few days in Williams County. Their enterprise growth paralleled their increase in violence.
“During interviews, it was learned that nearly all of the offenders involved in the drug enterprise were carrying guns for self-protection,” she said. “This reinforced how deadly an encounter with an addicted drug trafficker could be for law enforcement and others. Sadly, the weapons also increased violence within their own enterprise as the methamphetamine altered their minds causing paranoia, carelessness and emotional instability so significant they were willing to aim loaded weapons at their friends and co-conspirators.”
MAN Unit Commander Max Nofziger praised the prosecutor’s office as well, saying, “The cooperation between our agencies was very good, which is how we were able to successfully produce the cases that we did.”
Nofziger pointed out that all 14 co-conspirators have now pleaded guilty and been sentenced.
The 14 indicted and sentenced were Amanda Edwards, 34, of West Unity; Dustin Bush, 32, of Bryan; Ryan Grime, 27, of Bryan; David Lawrence, 27, of Edon; Heather Brown, 37, of Bryan; Charles Osburn, 20, of West Unity; Andrew Kendall, 40, of Bryan; Ashley Pinkham, 35, of Hicksville; Robert Leslie, 28, of Akron; Summer Moore, 26, of Hicksville; Brittany Phillips, 27, of Bryan; Suzanna Cole, 28, of West Unity; Amanda Lewis, 34, of Bryan; and Derek Goebel, 38, of Stryker.