CIRCLEVILLE - Three people are in the county jail facing drug charges after their arrest by the Pickaway County Sheriff's Office and the U.S. Route 23 Major Crimes Task Force at the Relax Inn on Wednesday.
James M. Ratliff, 22, Keith L. Carruthers, 23, and Holly S. Casto-Lemay, 22, all are charged with trafficking in heroin, a second degree felony. Carruthers also is being held on a probation violation in the incident.
According to Detective Jason Park, the operation was the result of a tip about drug activity involving the suspects.
"Sheriff (Robert) Radcliff has been really firm on addressing these drug issues, so we're trying to be more proactive as opposed to reactive," Park said. "We got a tip about drugs and weapons at that location, and we took in the tactical team."
The team, which included members of the Pickaway, Ross and Fayette County sheriff's offices along with the U.S. Route 23 Major Crimes Task Force, made a "dynamic entry" into the motel room about noon on Wednesday.
"We entered the room by force, and they had a handgun and shotgun within arm's reach of the female and one of the males," Park said. "We also recovered heroin and evidence of trafficking and drug abuse."
At least two of the suspects, he said, have a prior criminal record, and Carruthers was one of the subjects of the "Operation Rollin' Stone" drug raid in 2012 coordinated through the Ohio Attorney General's Office that netted 25 suspects in Circleville.
Park said the sheriff's office welcomes information about drug activity and will actively pursue those leads.
"Any tips that come in, we're addressing them immediately based on the sheriff's directive," he said.
The sheriff's office can be reached at (740) 474-2176.