The Knox County Grand Jury indicted Richard L. Posey, Jr., 27, Mount Vernon, yesterday on charges of Human Trafficking, Compelling Prostitution, Trafficking in Heroin, Cocaine and Oxycodone and Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity. According to Knox County Prosecutor John Thatcher between July 15 and September 11, Posey allegedly transported women from Mount Vernon to Cleveland to engage in prostitution against their will and in exchange for drugs. Posey also allegedly engaged in drug trafficking activity in Mount Vernon, in association with Mary McGregor, Teaca Lowe, Shannon Kitts, Randy McGregor and Demonno Rhodes who also face drug charges. The investigation began when the Mount Vernon Police Department, Emergency Services Unit, executed a search warrant at Posey’s Coshocton Avenue apartment, on September 11. Thatcher said “human trafficking and prostitution, in conjunction with drug trafficking, are not just big city crimes. This type of criminal activity happens in smaller cities, too, as evidenced by recent human trafficking cases filed in Delaware and Chillicothe.”
Demonno A. Rhodes, 34, Columbus, and Teaca D. Lowe, 35, Mount Vernon, were indicted on Heroin and Cocaine Trafficking and Possession charges. Lowe was also indicted on a charge of Permitting Drug Abuse for allegedly allowing her Fairmont Avenue residence to be used for drug trafficking activity. Thatcher said Rhodes and Lowe were taken into custody when the MVPD ESU executed a search warrant at Lowe’s residence, on October 5.
Detective Corporal Matt Dailey conducted the investigations in the Posey, Rhodes and Lowe cases.
On July 24, Michael P. Cosner, 21, Howard, allegedly sold heroin to an undercover operative working for the Fredericktown Police Department. On May 7, Anthony A. Ward, 24, Fredericktown, also allegedly sold heroin to an undercover operative working for the FPD.
Lieutenant Jay Sheffer investigated the Cosner and Ward cases.
Elizabeth A. Dowalter, 33, Mount Vernon, is accused of stealing prescription pills, on August 27. According to the indictment, the seriousness of the Theft of Drugs charge is enhanced by one felony degree because Dowalter was convicted of Illegal Processing of Drug Documents and Deception to Obtain Dangerous Drugs in Morrow County, in 2006. Patrolman Jason Payne, MVPD, investigated the case.
Thomas A. Dixon, 67, Mount Vernon, faces Gross Sexual Imposition charges for allegedly engaging in sexual contact with a nine year old female victim in his apartment, the weekend of August 10-13. Thatcher said Dixon is believed to be living in Columbus, but his exact whereabouts are unknown. Anyone with information that may lead to Dixon’s arrest should contact the Knox County Sheriff’s Office at 740-397-3333. Detective Tom Bumpus, KCSO, and Detective James DeChant, MVPD, investigated the case.
Indictments were filed against four men as the result of last week’s countywide “Autumn Sweep” operation. Carl F. Bagent, Jr., 68, Howard, faces charges of Pandering Obscenity and Sexually Oriented Matter involving a Minor. Thatcher said on June 19, an investigator with the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force found that Bagent was sharing images allegedly containing child pornography on a peer to peer file sharing network. On September 5, Bagent’s computer was seized pursuant to a search warrant executed by Detective Bumpus, and a forensic analysis of the computer later revealed that Bagent possessed images and videos allegedly containing child pornography on his computer.
Larry W. McWilliams, 65, Fredericktown, also faces charges of Pandering Obscenity and Sexually Oriented Matter involving a Minor. Thatcher said on May 11, an ICAC investigator found that McWilliams was sharing images allegedly containing child pornography on a peer to peer file sharing network. On September 6, McWilliams’ computer was seized pursuant to a search warrant executed by Detective Bumpus, and a forensic analysis of the computer later revealed that McWilliams possessed images and videos allegedly containing child pornography on his computer.
In the course of an “Autumn Sweep” residence compliance check on October 9, it was determined that registered sex offender Mark J. Kirk, 23, Mount Vernon, was in possession of an image allegedly containing child pornography on his laptop computer. According to the indictment, the seriousness of the Pandering Obscenity Involving a Minor charge is enhanced by one felony degree because Kirk was convicted of a Pandering Obscenity charge in Knox County, in 2009. The case was investigated by Detective Doug Turpen, KCSO, and an ICAC investigator.
David E. Dixon, 40, was indicted on a charge of Failure to Provide Change of Address for allegedly failing to notify the Knox County Sheriff’s Office that he left his residence, in Martinsburg, some weeks prior to his residence compliance check, on October 9. According to the indictment, Dixon is a sex offender due to an Unlawful Sexual Conduct with a Minor conviction in Knox County, in 2005. Detective David Light, KCSO, investigated the case.
Arraignment hearings in these cases are scheduled for November 2, before Common Pleas Court Judge Otho Eyster.