Multiple people arrested in Athens County drug investigation

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Four people were arrested on drug related charges in Athens County, Ohio Thursday, June 11, 2020. Pictured left to right are Brandie Swaro, Ezekiel “Zeke” Smith, James Howerton and Andrea Woods. (Photo courtesy: Athens County Sheriff’s Office)

THE PLAINS, OH (WOWK) Four people have been arrested on multiple drug-related charges in Athens County, Ohio.

The Athens County Sheriff’s Department says the Criminal Interdiction Units and Major Crimes Units executed a search warrant June 11, 2020, on Beech Road after an investigation into suspected drug trafficking. Deputies detained five people within the home during the search.

Deputies say they found approximately 23 grams of suspected heroin, suspected methamphetamine, digital scales, and suspected abuse instruments associated with the drugs.

Deputies also seized an amount of Schedule IV prescription narcotics including Xanax and Suboxone packaged for sale as well as a handgun and two other firearms within the home.

All items seized are being sent for laboratory testing with additional charges pending those results.

Sheriff Rodney Smith says the following people have been arrested on charges related to the search:

  • Ezekiel “Zeke” Smith, 29, of The Plains, was arrested on four active warrants for two counts of receiving stolen property, three counts of theft, and one count of identity fraud. Smith has now been charged with aggravated drug trafficking, a felony of the 2nd degree, aggravated drug trafficking a felony of the fifth degree, aggravated possession of drugs a felony of the second degree, aggravated possession of drugs a felony of the fifth degree and having weapons while under disability a felony of the third degree.
  • Brandie Swaro, 37, of The Plains, was arrested on a warrant for failure to appear on a charge of illegal use or possession of drug paraphernalia. Swaro has now been charged with complicity to drug trafficking a felony of the second degree.
  • James Howerton, 46, of The Plains, was arrested and has been charged with permitting drug abuse a felony of the fifth degree.
  • Andrea Woods, 26, of The Plains, was arrested on four active warrants for two counts of failure to appear on charges of aggravated possession of drugs, and two counts of theft without consent.
Four people have been arrested on multiple drug-related charges in Athens County, Ohio. (Photo Courtesy: Athens County Sheriff’s Office)

Smith, Swaro, and Howerton were taken to Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail without incident, and Woods was transported to Athens County Common Pleas Court for appearance on her warrants, according to Sheriff Smith.

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