By Frank Lewis
Three Scioto County women and one man have been sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to drug charges. Judge Howard H. Harcha, III sentenced Dodie M. Conley, 48, of Wheelersburg to 10 years in prison on one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activities; Yvonda K. Padgett, 35, of Portsmouth, was sentenced to 10 years for trafficking in oxycodone; Trista Brocato, 30, of Wheelersburg, was sentenced to 7 years for one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activities and 2 counts of trafficking in oxycodone and Dlouglas Shannon Bowling, 50, of Portsmouth, was sentenced to 4 years on three counts of trafficking in oxycodone.
Scioto County Prosecutor Mark Kuhn said the charges arose out of a 23 count indictment alleging they engaged in a pattern of corrupt activities.
The December 2013 indictment brought by the Prosecutor’s Office under the Ohio Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, alleged that the four joined in a scheme or enterprise to transport oxycodone from Detroit to Scioto County. The indictment also alleged the scheme began in the summer of 2010 and continued until Southern Ohio Drug Task Force officers executed a search warrant in Wheelersburg in November of 2013. The racketeering indictments came after an extensive investigation by the Southern Ohio Drug Task Force.
“This case first came to our office in November of 2012 and the investigation continued through the next year,” Assistant Scioto County Prosecutor Pat Apel said. “In the past couple of years we’ve made the determination to increase the use of the racketeering statute against drug dealers coming from Detroit and Dayton. The RICO statute was originally designed to fight the more traditional organized crime activities like theft, loansharking, gambling and prostitution, but now it gives law enforcement an extra edge in the fight against organizes drug rings. It allows law enforcement officers to go up the chain of distribution to the higher level dealers.”
Three other local residents were indicted on lesser offenses. Their cases will be taken up in Common Pleas Court in the near future.
Frank Lewis can be reached at 740-353-3101, Ext. 252, or on Twitter @FrankLewispdt.