The Guernsey County Sheriff’s Office continued to investigate three drug-related incidents that began as traffic stops on local roads in a 48-hour span from Monday to early Wednesday morning.
Five unidentified people were arrested and incarcerated in the Guernsey County Jail on felony investigation holds.
Authorities declined to release the names of the suspects — four males and one female — pending the filing of criminal charges. Three of the suspects have since been released from the jail.
According to reports at the sheriff’s office, the suspects who remained jailed included two Zanesville residents, ages 33 and 24, who were arrested during a traffic stop on Plainfield Road at approximately 3:07 a.m. Wednesday.
Deputy Craig Matthews was reportedly on routine patrol on Interstate 77 in the northern region of the county when he stopped a vehicle on Plainfield Road for a defect after it exited the highway.
The 33-year-old driver reportedly gave deputies consent to search the vehicle and numerous drug paraphernalia items were located by Matthews and Deputy Garrett Frederiici. The driver and passenger were taken into custody and transported to the county jail.
Deputies reported finding a set of digital scales with an unknown residue and numerous plastic bags commonly used in the sale of illegal narcotics.
During the booking process at the jail, corrections officers reported located what they termed a "significant" amount of suspected crystal meth that the 24-year-old passenger had allegedly conveyed into the facility.
The narcotics were seized as evidence and felony drug-related charges are reportedly pending. The suspected drug and scales will be sent to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation for testing.
Results from the tests are not expected for six to eight weeks, according to investigators.
The first traffic stop occurred at 3:46 a.m. Monday on Main Street in Byesville. After consent was given to search the vehicle, suspected methamphetamine was reportedly found in the vehicle.
The male and female occupants of the vehicle were taken into custody and transported to the county jail. A sheriff’s lieutenant reported the pair had been released prior to press time.
The suspected narcotics were sent to the Ohio BCII for testing.
The third traffic stop was initiated at 12:15 a.m. Tuesday on Southgate Parkway near the intersection with Dozer Road on the southern edge of Cambridge.
Again, illegal narcotics were reportedly located after the male occupant gave consent to search the vehicle. He was then taken into custody and transported to the county jail.
The male was reportedly released after being questioned by deputies and the suspected narcotics were sent to BCII for testing.
Finally, two unidentified males were arrested following a traffic stop at 3:07 a.m. Wednesday on Plainfield Road near the intersection with Hazlett Road in northern Guernsey County.
Suspected narcotics were seized during a consent search. No other information regarding the narcotics was available as of press time.
The males were transported to the county jail where they remained on felony investigation holds issued by deputies. As with the other two incidents, the suspected narcotics will be sent to the Ohio BCII for testing.
Authorities declined to release any additional information. The cases are expected to be presented to a Guernsey County Common Pleas Court grand jury once the results of the tests are received by deputies.
The incidents remained under investigation by the sheriff’s office.