Note: This story appears in the Friday, Aug. 23 newspaper on Page A1.
Fourteen people were indicted this month for their alleged roles in what’s being described as a criminal enterprise that sold methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine in Athens County, the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office announced Thursday.
The secret indictments were handed down Aug. 2, and the prosecutor’s office is alleging that those indicted were co-conspirators of Jessica Morris, 39, of Lancaster.
“She was the supplier of these 14,” County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn asserted.
The Messenger reported in February that Morris had been indicted on felony charges of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, having weapons while under disability, money laundering and obstructing justice. She has pleaded innocent and is in Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail under a $1 million bond.
According to the prosecutor’s office, those indicted this month on charges of possession of criminal tools and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity — but not yet proven guilty — are:
- Gina Sufronko, 31, of Nelsonville, who was arrested Wednesday and was being held Thursday on a $100,000 bond.
- Ryan Lowe, 39, of Nelsonville, who is currently in prison in a prior case. Prosecutors allege that Sufronko and Lowe communicated with Morris on numerous occasions to purchase methamphetamine.
- Eric Barron, 29, of Nelsonville, who was arrested Wednesday and is accused of trafficking in heroin and methamphetamine. He was being held Thursday on a $50,000 bond.
- Kimberly Young, 29, of Nelsonville, who was arrested Wednesday and is accused of purchasing illegal drugs from Morris for resale. Her bond was set at $75,000 and she was in jail Thursday.
- Chase Malloy, 29, of Athens, who is accused of buying meth and heroin from Morris with the intent to distribute. He was still at large Thursday.
- Nicholas Nelson, 30, of Logan, accused of buying sellable amounts of heroin and meth from Morris. He was arraigned Wednesday, and his bond was set at $75,000.
- Kasandra Curry, 28, of Carbon Hill, accused with Nelson of buying sellable amount of heroin and methamphetamine. She was still at large Thursday.
- Earl “Jake” McKee Jr., 25, of Trimble, accused of purchasing large amounts of heroin and methamphetamine from Morris. He is in prison from a prior case.
- Brian Thompson, 42, of Athens, accused of purchasing large amounts of heroin and methamphetamine from Morris on multiple occasions and of assisting others with buying sellable amounts of drugs from Morris.
- Paul Curry, 39, of The Plains, accused of contacting Morris to purchase heroin and meth. He was still at large Thursday.
- Bradford “Coy” Hawk V, 28, of Athens, accused of purchasing sellable amounts of heroin and methamphetamine from Morris numerous times. He is currently in prison in a prior case.
- George Cloud III, 34, of Chauncey, accused of contacting Morris to purchase meth and heroin. He was still at large Thursday.
- Natalie Geer-Cloud, also known as Natalie Hoffman, 32, of Chauncey, accused with Cloud of purchasing meth and heroin. She was still at large Thursday.
- Jimmy Stepp, 36, of Guysville, accused of frequently visiting the house of a relative of Morris in Lancaster to “reup” and sell drugs in Athens County. He is in prison on a prior case.
Along with the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office, investigating agencies include the Nelsonville Police Department, Athens County Sheriff’s Office and the Major Crimes Units in Athens, Fairfield and Hocking counties.