SHANE A. TIEMAN
SCIOTO COUNTY, OHIO
May 16, 2022
PROSECUTOR’S OFFICE CONCLUDES LATEST RICO CASE
The Scioto County Prosecutor’s Office has pursued the modern day racketeers who are
bringing hundreds of pounds of drugs into Scioto County causing violent crime, prostitution and
addiction. “Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activities” is the Ohio version of the Federal
Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act, often referred to as RICO.
The latest “RICO” case arose from a group operating out of Montgomery County, Ohio,
who were bringing in huge amounts of fentanyl and methamphetamine into Portsmouth, Ohio.
“Coordinate and cooperate is the name of the game in these complex investigations.” stated
Prosecuting Attorney Shane Tieman. The Prosecutor’s Office, the FBI Drug Task Force, the
Sheriff’s Office, the Portsmouth and New Boston Police Departments and the Highway Patrol
have coordinated and cooperated in battling drug trafficking using the RICO statute. The latest
investigation arose in June 2019 where the Drug Task Force started investigating a number of
trips by various co-conspirators transporting narcotics from the Dayton area to locations around
Portsmouth for resale. The investigation included a number of hand to hand sales by the
conspirators to street dealers and addicts. After various undercover buys and multiple
simultaneous search warrants, utilizing officers from the Portsmouth Police Department and the
Scioto County Sheriff’s Office, large amounts of narcotics were seized. The operations
prevented another scheduled shipment of approximately 160 pounds of methamphetamine from
hitting the streets.
The conspirators were ultimately indicted in March 2020. Through the next two years,
through several motions, hearings and an epidemic, the case ultimately came to a conclusion. A
total of sixteen individuals were convicted and substantial cash and personal property was
forfeited as instrumentalities and proceeds of drug trafficking. As a result of the investigation
and subsequent prosecution, the majority of the defendants went to prison. Each defendant was
sentenced by the Honorable Judge Howard H. Harcha, III of the Scioto County Court of
Common Pleas. The two main players in the operation, Travis Grier and Michael Blair, both of
Dayton, Ohio were sentenced to 15-16 ½ years and 14-18 years prison, respectively.
“This case could not have resulted in such success without the collaborative efforts of our
various law enforcement agencies at the local, state and federal levels. Their efforts to
investigate and safely apprehend several suspects, seize evidence, analyze evidence and prepare
the case for trial took hundreds of hours of time and substantial resources. Our law enforcement
agencies and their officers will continue to battle for this community, using every legal resource
at our disposal.” Tieman said.
SHANE A. TIEMAN