Drug trafficking ‘ringleader’ served with indictment

LISBON — A woman with Ohio addresses in both Galloway and Warren has been accused of being the ringleader of a drug trafficking and racketeering group, which included her 83-year-old grandmother, that was involved in a crime spree in this county starting in 2013 and running through September of this year.

Tiona L. Jones, also known as T, 34, was served a secret indictment charged with 24 counts, including engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a first-degree felony.

That one charge alleges that beginning on Oct. 17, 2013, and continuing through Sept. 23, 2016, Jones and six co-defendants engaged in a pattern of corrupt activity which included but was not limited to trafficking in drugs, complicity to trafficking in drugs, money laundering, felonious assault, complicity to felonious assault, possession of drugs, aggravated burglary, complicity to aggravated burglary and conspiracy.

The charge also notes the grand jury found that Jones was associated with 16 people involved in illegal enterprises.

The corruption charge further asks for the forfeiture of physical property in Galloway which Jones reportedly has an interest in with co-defendant Selena Pruitt, 83, of Warren. The Franklin County property reportedly was purchased using the proceeds from drug trafficking and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activities. Another forfeiture is listed for a white Lincoln Navigator.

Jones is further charged with three counts of trafficking in heroin, five counts of trafficking in cocaine, four counts of conspiracy to trafficking in drugs, two counts each of aggravated menacing and assault, two counts of money laundering and one count each of having a weapon while under a disability, complicity to felonious assault, complicity to aggravated burglary, conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary and intimidation of a witness in a criminal case.

The two money laundering charges allegedly involved money orders in December of 2013, while charges of aggravated menacing, assault and intimidation of a witness in a criminal case allege she threatened, caused physical harm or had others cause physical harm to others involved in the criminal activity. The complicity to aggravated burglary and conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary charges allege she and some co-defendants burglarized the home of Dewey Souers, 760 E. Pershing St., Salem, on Aug. 7, 2014.

Of the co-defendants in the case, secret indictments have also been served to Pruitt; Susan L. Jones, 55, South Lincoln Avenue, Salem; Marvin W. Harsch, 28, Warren; and Tina M. Taylor, 44, Saltwell Road, Lisbon.

Pruitt is charged with conspiracy to trafficking in drugs. Tiona Jones allegedly was directing people to go to Pruitt to deliver money for the purpose of buying drugs or obtaining drugs to be sold to others.

The indictment against Susan Jones charges her with the same charge of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity  as well as three counts of trafficking in cocaine, two counts of trafficking in heroin, one count of trafficking in drugs and three counts of permitting drug abuse for allegedly allowing her apartment home at the time on Aetna Street, Salem, to be used for drug trafficking offenses in May of 2015.

Harsch is charged with the same charge of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity plus complicity to felonious assault, breaking and entering, tampering with evidence and aggravated burglary. He is allegedly to have assisted in an assault of Dewey Souers on June 21, 2014, as well as burglarizing Souers’ home on Aug. 7, 2014. Additionally, he is accused of breaking into Club Fuel, Railroad Street, Salem on July 31, 2014 and tampering with a security DVR box at the business to keep investigators from knowing who was involved.

Taylor is charged with three counts of trafficking in drugs and two counts of possession of drugs, charges which involve both cocaine and heroin in 2015.

Two other secret indictments issued by the November grand jury charge two people, Diana S. Cameron, 49, and Louis S. Grande, 42, both of the same home on South Lincoln Avenue, Salem, with permitting drug abuse. Their charges allege they allowed Tiona L. Jones to use their home for drug trafficking offenses on Oct. 13, 2015.

Indictments involving additional co-defendants are expected.

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