Grand jury returns drug indictments
A Union County grand jury has indicted four people from the Bellefontaine area for transporting heroin.
Lawrence A. Ratleff Jr., 55; Jennifer Joseph, 33; Scott Boggs, 32; and Stanley Artist, 46, are all in the Tri-County jail awaiting court appearances later this month.
Authorities said the investigation began when detectives from the Union County Multi-Agency Drug Enforcement (M.A.D.E.) Task Force worked with detectives from the Logan County Drug Task Force who were investigating Ratleff for purchasing heroin in the Columbus area and transporting it back to the Bellefontaine area for resale.
On Oct. 24, the task forces from both Union and Logan counties, and officers from the Marysville Division of Police conducted a traffic stop on U.S. Route 33.
After a law enforcement canine alerted officers to something in Ratleff's vehicle, they found 103 individual packages of heroin.
Two weeks later, both task forces, along with agents from the Columbus Office of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), deputies from the Union County Sheriff's Office and officers from the Marysville Division of Police, conducted several traffic stops on U.S. Route 33 of vehicles occupied by Ratleff, Joseph and Artis.
All three were arrested and transported to the Union County Sheriff's Office.
According to deputies, Joseph had concealed 102 individual doses of heroin within a body cavity.
Ratleff was arrested on Nov. 6 on a charge of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity. His bond was set at $100,000.
On Nov. 14 Ratleff was indicted on additional charges of two counts of possession of criminal tools which is a felony of the fifth degree; two counts of trafficking in heroin, a felony of the second degree; and two counts of possession of heroin, a felony of the second degree.
Joseph was indicted on two counts of possession of heroin, second- and fourth-degree felonies; one count of trafficking in heroin, a felony of the second degree;and one count of tampering with evidence, a third-degree felony.
Artis and Boggs were indicted Nov. 14.
Artis was indicted for one count of possession of criminal tools, a felony of the fifth degree; and one count of possession of heroin, a second-degree felony.
Boggs was indicted on one count of possession of heroin, a felony of the second degree. Bail was set for each of them at $50,000.
The Union County Multi Agency Drug Enforcement Task Force is a joint investigative unit comprised of members from the Marysville Division of Police, the Union County Prosecutor's Office and the Union County Sheriff's Office, with support from the Richwood and Plain City police departments.