MOUNT VERNON — Three women were indicted by the Knox County grand jury Monday on multiple felony counts of drug trafficking and drug possession along with several firearm possession charges and many other counts related to what prosecutors say is a large-scale drug distribution network that involved several counties.
Two Columbus residents, Kristy Crawford, 40, and Danile W. Beckham, 43, and Lisa M. Poole, 55, of Mount Vernon, were all indicted after an eight-month investigation of the alleged drug trafficking ring.
The three were all charged with engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, which is the state’s version of a federal racketeering charge, according to Knox County Prosecuting Attorney Chip McConville.
“Basically, (it’s that) you’ve engaged in a criminal enterprise that’s had repeated criminal offenses in it,” McConville said. “This is charged under the state’s statute of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, which is the equivalent of the federal RICO statute.”
Several counties were involved in the massive operation that led to the arrests of the three women and the confiscation of a car and a motorcycle, large amounts of cash, a surveillance system with seven cameras, and five firearms, along with meth, marijuana, pills and a sizable amount of cocaine. Several of the confiscated items were found in two residences in Columbus, one in Marion and one in Mount Vernon, including a firearm in Columbus that was found to be stolen.
According to the arrest warrant that accompanied the charges, Poole allowed Crawford “to use her residence … to sell methamphetamine.” On July 18, 2018, detectives made a buy using a confidential informant. The substance purchased field tested positive for meth, according to the report.
A search warrant was then served at Poole’s residence in the 600 block of Ohio Avenue in Mount Vernon and drugs, paraphernalia, the camera system, safes, cash and ammunition were seized.
Because of the scope of the activity, multiple agencies were engaged in the investigation which included search warrants in Knox County, Marion County and Franklin County and other involvement from the Knox County Sheriff — which initiated the investigation — the Ohio State Highway Patrol and Morrow County law enforcement.
“It was a significant amount of work and effort,” McConville said.