"The road to disappointment
is paved with expectation."
People unfortunately suffer the tremendous costs of drug abuse daily. You don't have to look for stories of addicts and criminals in Detroit or in Miami to confirm this fact. All you have to do is read your local paper, watch your local news, and scan your Facebook groups. The wide scope of abuse is so disheartening to those who seek change. Yet, it is important to know exactly what is at stake when you decide to enter the criminal enterprise of drug abuse.
What is really happening? Read for yourself some of the related stories from Scioto County during the last couple of weeks. Of course, the accused are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. And, the court dockets are full of upcoming trials. Here are stories of major losses for those of you entertaining thoughts of becoming active participants in the drug "game."
These reports can all be read in the Portsmouth Daily Times. Here is the link to the site: http://www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com/
* Lose Your Fantastic Job
A former Ohio medical clinic doctor, James Lassiter, was one of six doctors accused in a federal indictment last year of prescribing pain medication without performing meaningful examinations of patients.
The indictment also alleged the 59-year-old Lassiter opened an unlicensed dispensary after legitimate pharmacists refused to fill prescriptions.
Lassiter pleaded guilty Friday to one count of illegally acquiring painkillers by writing prescriptions without ascertaining whether they were for legitimate medical purposes. No sentencing date was set by Cincinnati federal judge Michael Barrett.
Dr. James Lassiter has pleaded guilty to illegal possession of painkillers. He is no longer a medical practitioner and for good reason.
* Lose Your Lovely Home
Richard A. Ramey, 36, faces multiple drug charges after being arrested.
Portsmouth police officers said they were dispatched to 1200 B Cole Ave. in reference to a man lying on the sidewalk possibly intoxicated or injured. Officer found the man and asked for identification, and were give an Ohio ID.
Dispatch checked on Ramey and told officers he was showing a warrant through the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office.
He was handcuffed and during the search, police found a small black pouch which Ramey reportedly advised them contained needles. Inside the pouch, police found three hypodermic syringes, digital scales, several small cut plastic baggies and a baggy containing an off-white powder substance which tested positive for crack cocaine.
Ramey was charged with possession of drugs - cocaine, possession of drug abuse instruments and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was placed in the Scioto County Jail.
Richard Ramey lists himself as homeless. His "home" now will likely be behind bars.
* Lose Your Friggin' Mind
People cooking meth continue to endanger police officers and the health of the general public.
Robert W. Wilson, 26, of 1314 Findlay St., Portsmouth and Josiah J. Ford, 25, of 19743 Ohio 772, Waverly, are facing charges of illegal assembly or possession of chemicals for the manufacturing of drugs, a third degree felony, after being arrested. Police said they also arrested Christopher R. Erks, 33, of Portsmouth, who was also inside the house, on a probation violation.
Portsmouth police officers responded to 1314 Findlay St. at around 4:52 a.m. in reference to a complaint of subjects manufacturing methamphetamine. Officers noticed a strong chemical odor emanating from the house when they arrived. Upon arrival, officers said Wilson and Ford ran from the house but were detained.
In the kitchen, police found a backpack containing a box of coffee filters, wire cutters, a plastic bottle that contained a substance believed to be a by-product of methamphetamine and a brown plastic bag that contained white pellets.
On the kitchen table they found a container of salt, a green container with seven syringes and lithium batteries as well as drain cleaner, a glass jar with a milky substance inside and a can of starter fluid with a hole in it.
Starter fluid, lithium, drain cleaner, unidentified "substances"? It sounds as if these people prefer a chemical cocktail that will surely fry lots of healthy brain cells.
Roy E. Hall
* Lose Your Laid-Back "Golden Years"
A South Webster man was picked up by authorities on a warrant to arrest on indictment issued by the Scioto County Common Pleas Court.
According to Sheriff Marty V. Donini and Portsmouth Police Chief Robert Ware, the indictment warrant had been sought for Roy E. Hall, of South Webster, by members of the Southern Ohio Drug Task Force and the Scioto County Prosecutor’s Office.
The case against Hall had been presented to a Scioto County Grand Jury with an indictment returned on six counts of drug offenses, including trafficking of Buprenorphine (a felony in the fifth degree), possession of Buprenorphine (a misdemeanor of the first degree), trafficking in Alprazolam (a felony in the fifth degree), possession of Alprazolam (a misdemeanor of the first degree), trafficking in Oxycodone (a felony in the fourth degree), and aggravated possession of Oxycodone (a felony in the fifth degree).
Roy E. Hall is 65 years-old -- A grandpa dealer without a cause or much of a future.
* Lose Your Beloved Children
Oxycodone pills with a street value of over $4,800, and other drugs were confiscated and a Wheelersburg woman arrested in the execution of a search warrant Wednesday. Amber Hatfield, 26, is charged with trafficking in drugs, a first degree felony and possession of drugs, a felony of the second degree.
A task force executed a narcotics- related search warrant at Hatfield’s residence, located at 1129 Boren Blvd Apt. E in Wheelersburg.
Upon a search of the residence, detectives seized over 120 suspected Oxycodone pills, 22 suspected Xanax pills, cash and a small amount of Marijuana.
Also present at the time of the execution of the warrant were Hatfield’s two small children. This mom will surely be seeing little of her babies.
* Lose Your Precious Limbs
Lisa Roberts, Portsmouth health nurse reports this shocking story:
"A young local girl is in the hospital having treatment for her arms where a life threatening infection had set in due to IV drug use. She has asked that her picture and story be shared so that others may see the consequences of drug addiction and not even start using chemicals in the first place. Pay attention to her voice of experience. Pray for her recovery.
"She nearly lost both of her arms but it looks like the surgery and vein removal may have saved them." The photo speaks for itself.
Tracy Bias with Attorney Steven Hillman* Lose Your Reputation and Your Enormous Fortune
The trial of Dublin, Ohio attorney Steven Hillman has been continued. Hillman was to go on trial with other defendants in an illegal drug trial on June 24, in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati, but now that date has been changed. In the case titled U.S. vs. Bias et al, Hillman is charged with money laundering of at least $6,750,000.
The trial centers around the case of Tracy Bias, 48, of West Portsmouth, who was in Judge Michael Barrett’s court two weeks ago for a change of plea hearing. The results of that hearing have apparently been sealed.
At one time, Bias operated two pain clinics, Southern Ohio Complete Pain Management and Portsmouth Medical Solutions in Portsmouth and Trinity Medical Care in Columbus. Hillman is known in this area as the attorney for several of the pain clinics, including a pain clinic in Wheelersburg.
The federal indictment said Bias and six doctors, conspired to write prescriptions for powerful pain medications outside the scope of legitimate medical practice, and that their conspiracy resulted in the death of at least one customer, and that Hillman laundered millions.
A court motion says Hillman was given an affidavit to complete regarding his financial status, and that his financial status is different now that he has been indicted from what it was when he filled out the affidavit prior to any legal proceedings because, “since being indicted the normal flow of clients has disappeared and the defendant’s current income has so diminished that he cannot pay his mortgage, car payments, office rent, utilities, and other financial obligations.
“It is highly embarrassing for this counsel after 40 years of practice to find himself virtually destitute,” Hillman said in his motion. “Never before has this defendant had to seek help and to be forced to recognize that I need help is not an easy thing to do.”
The money is gone and so is the arrogant attitude? Begging for mercy remains.
My Bottom Line
The one connection in all of these stories is misery and drug abuse. Whether people lose their employment, their reputations, their money, their retirement, their children, or their limbs and lives to the evils of abuse, the drugs drive them toward these horrible destinations. The tremendous amount of this drug activity in Scioto County erodes the common fabric of our good, well-intentioned lives.
You must understand that each of these stories negatively affects countless others -- no one can determine the collateral damage caused by those who choose to abuse drugs. As a community, we all suffer the consequences of the offenders' poor judgment and crime.
The true stories are tales of poison. The complications "touch" so many others and "infect" these people -- the dependent, the greedy, and yes, so many of the innocents. The senseless need for substances spurs an epidemic that costs us all. Some people connected to these stories will develop their own physical and mental problems; some will become drug dependent; some will suffer severed family relationships; some will turn to crime themselves; and many will simply lose faith in the meaning of existence.
You see, we can and should arrest drug abusers, hold them accountable for their actions, and punish them for their crimes against humanity. That is imperative in a society based on justice and concern for the liberty of all. However, we can NOT clear all the cloudy minds of those who insist upon poisoning themselves, and, in turn, poisoning others in the name of twisted freedom of choice, mountainous monetary gratification, and intense chemical pleasure.
The people who choose drug abuse WILL lose. The nasty stops along the way to rehab, prison, or death are all located in our community. These stations are evidenced by the stories above. All aboard the Hellbound Train for destinations such as Lost Childrensville, Brainless City, Homeless Town, Lost Wages, and Death Valley. Are you sure you want to go?