Trending Topics

Drug ring operated out of Ohio prisons had elaborate plan to publish ‘drug-soaked’ book

The group made hundreds of thousands of dollars selling “faces,” described as squares of paper soaked in drugs, and planned to sell a novel-style book with drug-soaked pages

Prison cells

Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction

By Lauren Liebhaber
The Charlotte Observer

MUSKINGUM COUNTY, Ohio — More than a dozen people have been indicted in connection to a “drug ring” operating out of the Ohio prison system, officials said.

The Muskingum County Prosecutor’s Office charged 14 people, including current inmates at correctional institutions around the state and their families, according to a May 22 news release.

McClatchy News reached out to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction on May 24 for comment but did not immediately hear back. McClatchy News was unable to locate attorney information for the defendants.

A years-long investigation by the Ohio State Highway Patrol revealed a “pattern of organized corrupt activity,” in which inmates collaborated with friends, girlfriends, aunts and sisters to smuggle drugs into prisons and launder the money, officials said.

The group made hundreds of thousands of dollars between Sept. 1, 2022, and March 8, 2023, selling “faces,” described as squares of paper soaked in methamphetamine or the opioid treatment drug, Suboxone, officials said.

In the video below, Gordon Graham discusses how to combat contraband in correctional facilities.

Investigators also uncovered “an elaborate plot to publish and sell an actual novel-style book with its pages soaked with drugs,” officials said.

Inmates at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility, as well as Warren, Ross, and Chillicothe correctional institutions, were named in the indictment, court records show.

“Prison isn’t a money-making experience, and the only way to make money in prison is through corrupt activity,” Muskingum County Assistant Prosecutor John Litle said.

The charges filed include money laundering, drug trafficking, engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, and conspiracy, according to court records.

©2024 The Charlotte Observer.
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.