West Side News

Prescription-drug trafficking

Six-month investigation breaks up local ring

Two sisters face charges as ring leaders, several others indicted as associates


Thirteen people have been arrested and indicted as part of a prescription-drug trafficking ring, including three residents of the Grove City area.

The Franklin County Sheriff's Office Special Investigation Unit conducted a six-month investigation of an Oxycodone trafficking ring, leading to the indictments of 13 members on May 7, according to a news release from the sheriff's office.

Sisters Marlene Belcher, 37, of Southard Drive in Columbus, and Marsha Belcher, 35, of Bohnburg Avenue in southwest Columbus near Grove City, are suspected of leading a trafficking ring that brought more than 22,000 Oxycodone 30mg tablets, 5,300 Oxycodone 15mg tablets and 5,000 Xanax pills into Columbus to sell on the street during a 12-month period.

The Franklin County Sheriff's Office estimates the street value of the drugs at $770,000.

The operation is believed to have been ongoing for approximately three years, according to evidence the sheriff's office has collected. It also reported the group conducted about 50 documented trips out of state in 2012 to obtain Oxycodone.

The sheriff's office executed two search warrants at the residences of the Belcher sisters and recovered Oxycodone, marijuana, seven firearms, $16,000 and additional evidence of drug trafficking.

The felony charges filed against the Belcher sisters are for engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, aggravated funding of drug trafficking, trafficking in drugs, having weapons under disability and possession of drugs.

Also facing felony charges are Grove City resident Lovelle McCarty, 38, of Ashton Row West, and Timothy Tanner, 36, of Bluffstone Court in southwest Columbus near Grove City.

Felony indictments have also been handed down against Columbus residents Austin Belcher, 22, of Buckeye Circle; Regina Thompson, 35, of Park Avenue; and Wilmer Neff, 49, of South Ohio Avenue; Asheville resident Jeffrey Jackson, 36, of East Street; and Mount Perry resident Albert Holmes, 55, of Township Road 49.

Others to be charged but who have no known address are Mindy Boughton, 23; Joelle New, 24; William Cornette, 41; and Joshua Marcum, 25.

More charges are expected to be filed later against additional associates of the trafficking ring, according to the news release.