ATHENS - Three family members were among the eight people whose arrests Athens County authorities announced Monday as part of an operation to shut down a drug ring.
According to a release from the Athens County Prosecutor's Office, Bert C. Sharrer, 45, of Jacksonville; his daughter, Kendra Rania Sharrer, 22, of Glouster; and his son Bert Sharrer Jr., 18, of McConnelsville, were arrested Monday along with two other individuals with alleged ties to the ring, which authorities say stretched from Detroit to Athens County by way of Columbus.
All three were charged with a first-degree felony count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity. The elder Bert Sharrer also faces two third-degree felony counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs, while his son was charged with one fourth-degree felony count of the same offense. Kendra Sharrer, meanwhile, is charged with a first-degree felony count of aggravated possession of drugs and a third-degree felony count of tampering with evidence.
All three were arraigned Tuesday and entered pleas of not guilty.
Bert C. Sharrer remains in custody at the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail on a $1 million bond. Kendra and Bert Sharrer Jr. were each given $800,000 bonds. Bert Sharrer Jr. was still listed in custody on the jail's website, but it was unclear Tuesday evening whether his sister had posted bond or not.
Also arrested Monday were Ryan Rutherford, 36, of Nelsonville, and Tinkey L. Rutter, 37, of Chauncey. Rutherford is charged with a fifth-degree felony count of possession of heroin and had not been arraigned as of Tuesday afternoon. Rutter's charge is a fourth-degree possession of heroin count, according to the release, but the regional jail website lists him as being in custody on a charge of failure to appear, with a $20,000 bond.
At a press conference Monday, representatives of the Athens County prosecutor and sheriff's office, the Athens City Police and Ohio University Campus Police announced that three earlier arrests were also tied to the same drug ring.
One of those, on May 6, is considered the largest Oxycodone bust ever in the county.
In that incident, 26-year-old Glouster resident Derek James Gyure was apprehended following a vehicle pursuit through the Glouster area. According to the release from the prosecutor's office, investigators recovered an ammunition box containing more than 1,400 suspected Oxycodone tablets with a street value of $42,000, as well as more than $17,000 in cash.
Gyure, who is being held at the regional jail without bond, was indicted Friday on five counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs ranging from first- to third-degree felonies, first-degree felony counts of aggravated possession of drugs and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a third-degree felony count of having a weapon under disability and a fifth-degree felony count of possession of criminal tools.
During Gyure's initial appearance in Athens Municipal Court on May 6, Athens County Prosecutor Keller Blackburn described Gyure as the supplier for multiple drug dealers in the Glouster area, according to the Associated Press.
"We've got the top, we got the guy under him, and we're going to clean up the rest," Blackburn said during the hearing.
The other suspect Blackburn referred to was John Casey Metcalf, 22, of Glouster. He also was indicted Friday, charged with a first-degree count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, four counts of second- and third-degree aggravated trafficking in drugs, a third-degree felony count of having weapons while under disability and fifth-degree felony counts of possession of criminal tools and marijuana.
Metcalf is also being held without bond, as is Athens resident Billy Joe Haynes, 25, indicted Friday on a third-degree felony count of trafficking in drugs and two fourth-degree felony counts of trafficking in cocaine.