Three charged in drug arrests

MARIETTA – Three people have been arrested in Marietta for allegedly trafficking in large quantities of marijuana and the hallucinogenic LSD.

Using a confidential informant, agents from the Major Crimes Task Force were able to purchase a pound of marijuana and 100 unit doses of LSD at 1205 County House, Lane Apt. A, the residence of 20-year-old Dakota L. Morningstar, on Wednesday, officials said.

Also present during the drug buy were Vincent M. Christopher, 23, of 5529 Storer Ave., Cleveland, and Michael S. Cope II, 29, of 2006 Huntington St., Middletown, Ohio.

“Those are some pretty serious quantities. This is one of the larger scale (cases) the task force has ever dealt with in regard to LSD,” said Chief Deputy Mark Warden with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

The suspects were paid thousands of dollars for the drugs, said Warden. Marijuana prices are based on the quality of the drug and can range from $1,500 to $2,500 for a pound.

LSD can cost upward of $10 per unit dose, he said.

When arrested, all three suspects were found to be in possession of some of the money used in the drug transaction, said Warden.

“This is a typical situation where you have individuals coming into our community from out of our area because they can make better money here,” said Warden.

Morningstar and Christopher were each charged with a fourth-degree felony count of trafficking in marijuana.

Cope was charged with a third-degree felony count of trafficking in LSD.

A subsequent search of the home turned up an additional 47 unit doses of LSD on a coffee table near where Cope and Morningstar had been sitting, resulting in an additional fourth-degree felony count of possession of LSD for both, said Warden.

Agents located another 100 doses of LSD in the vehicle Christopher was in at the time of his arrest, resulting in a third-degree felony charge of possession of LSD, said Warden.

All three suspects are being held without bond at the Washington County Jail pending their initial court appearance today.