Note: This story appears in the Sunday, Sept. 1 newspaper on Page A3.
Two people out of the 14 indicted in early August on alleged drug activities have been arrested and made their initial appearances in Athens County Common Pleas Court.
Natalie Hoffman, 32, and George R. Cloud III, 34, both of Chauncey, were arrested at a residence on North Peach Ridge Road by the Athens County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday. Hoffman has also been identified in previous law enforcement reports as Natalie Geer-Cloud or Natalie Cloud.
They had been among 14 people allegedly involved in a criminal enterprise that sold methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine, The Messenger previously reported.
Both had been indicted on felony charges of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and possessing criminal tools.
Hoffman and Cloud appeared before Judge Patrick Lang on Thursday. Hoffman was granted a release on recognizance bond, according to the county prosecutor’s office, while Cloud was placed on a $50,000 bond with no 10 percent allowed. Cloud is being held in Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail.
Jury trials for the two were set for Nov. 5.
The prosecutor’s office has alleged Hoffman and Cloud, along with 12 others, were co-conspirators of Jessica Morris, 39, a Lancaster woman who was allegedly their supplier.
As previously reported, Morris has already been indicted and pleaded innocent to charges of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, having weapons while under disability, money laundering and obstructing justice.
Hoffman and Cloud make eight out of the 14 alleged co-conspirators who have been arraigned in court. The other six, as reported by The Messenger on Wednesday, include Kasandra Curry, 28, of Carbonhill; Paul Curry, 39, of The Plains; Gina Sufronko, 31, of Nelsonville; Eric Barron, 29, of Nelsonville; Kimberly Young, 29 of Nelsonville; and Nicholas Nelson, 30, of Logan. Those six pleaded innocent and trial dates were set for late October and early September.
Five more arraignments are planned for the “near future,” according to the prosecutor’s office: Chase Malloy, 29, of Athens; Earl McKee Jr., 25, of Trimble; Ryan Lowe, 29, of Nelsonville, Bradford Hawk V, 28, of Athens; and Jimmy Stepp, 36, of Guysville.
There is one person of the 14 indicted that is reportedly still at large: Brian Thompson, 42, of Athens.