DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Seven individuals involved in a conspiracy to smuggle methamphetamine into a state prison, including a former corrections officer, have pleaded guilty to conspiracy and related charges in U.S. District Court.
They were charged in September of 2017 in a three-count indictment.
31-year-old James Barlage, Jr., of Chillicothe, a former corrections officer at Chillicothe Correctional Institution (CCI), and 32-year-old Anthony Scott Blankenship of Columbus, both pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine.
40-year-old Mario Evans, formerly of Dayton, 45-year-old Edward E. Bellman, formerly of Miamisburg, and 53-year-old Moses M. Stevens, formerly of Xenia, who were all inmates at CCI, and 47-year-old Jamey L. Naegele of Brookville, each pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute and distribution of 50 grams or more of methamphetamine in a separate case.
Court documents say that the individuals conspired with each other to smuggle methamphetamine into CCI. They used an unauthorized cellphone from inside the prison to communicate regarding the payment and transportation of the drug.
Barlage was stopped by law enforcement while in possession of roughly 13 grams of methamphetamine intended for delivery into CCI.
Blankenship was stopped by authorities while in possession of approximately 34 grams of methamphetamine.
Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Angela L. Byers, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, Col. Paul A. Pride, Superintendent, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Gary Mohr, Director, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and members of the Warren County Drug Task Force announced the pleas entered into before U.S. District Judge Walter H. Rice.