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South Point pharmacist facing drug charges

A South Point pharmacist is facing drug charges in Scioto County after he was stopped there for a traffic violation.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol stopped a vehicle driven by Troy D. Whaley, 56, after he ran a red light March 4, said Lt. Gary Lewis of the Ohio State Highway Patrol. Following the traffic stop, the trooper noticed several criminal indicators, Lewis said. The trooper’s K9 unit alerted the officer to illegal drugs.

In all, 904 pills of 38 types were found in the man’s vehicle including Oxycontin, Xanax and Vicodin, as well as a large envelope with liquid morphine and crushed pills, Lewis said.

“It is believed that (the drugs) were for distribution and sale,” Lewis said.

Besides drugs, $1,700 was found in the man’s vehicle.

Lewis said the arrest was part of an ongoing effort by the OSHP and other law enforcement agencies to target pill distributions.

On Feb. 24 and 25 and March 3 and 4, a number of agencies including the OSHP, Scioto County Sheriff’s Office, Portsmouth Police Department, New Boston Police Department, Ohio Investigative Unit, Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, Scioto County Prosecutor’s Office and Scioto County Probation, N&S Railroad Police and Ohio’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Task Force teamed up for a saturation patrol. That netted 1,082 traffic stops and 382 arrests, according to a press release from the OSHP. Of the arrests, 21 involved impaired driving. They also initiated 87 cases, including 38 felony cases.

“Our bottom line is that we are trying to contribute to a safer Ohio by keeping drugs from getting into our community,” Lewis said.

According to records found on the Portsmouth Municipal Court website, Whaley is charged with trafficking in drugs, tampering with evidence, and two counts of drug abuse.