Investigation leads to child endangerment, drug charges

Ohio

Three people are facing drug charges and two are also facing child endangerment charges after an investigation in Athens County. From left to right – Nichole Barnhart, Michael Taylor and Ashley Sears. Sept. 25, 2020 (Photos Courtesy: Athens County Sheriff’s Department)

ATHENS COUNTY, OH (WOWK) – Three people are facing drug charges and two are also facing child endangerment charges after an investigation in Athens County.

The Athens County Sheriff’s Office says the Criminal Interdiction Units and the Athens County Sheriff’s Office Special Response Team executed a search warrant for suspected drug trafficking Sept. 25 on State Route 13 in Glouster.

Four people were detained at the home, and deputies say they found and seized suspected heroin and methamphetamine along with suspected abuse instruments associated with the drugs. According to the sheriff’s office, three children were at the home during the investigation and Athens County Children Services were called to the scene because living conditions were unsafe for the children.

Deputies say three of the four people detained were arrested during the investigation. Ashley Sears, 31, of Glouster, was arrested for trafficking in drugs and possession of drugs, both a felony of the fifth degree, and endangering children, a misdemeanor of the first degree. Michael Taylor, 26, of Millfield, was arrested for possession of drugs, a felony of the fourth degree, and endangering children, a misdemeanor of the first degree. Nicole Barnhart, age 27, of Glouster, was arrested for possession of drugs, a felony of the fifth degree.

Barnhart and Taylor were currently on Adult Parole Authority supervision and are also being held on violations, according to the sheriff’s office.

The investigation is ongoing, and the items seized are being sent to a lab for testing. The Athens County Sheriff’s Office says additional charges are expected.

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