MARIETTA - A search warrant and a separate traffic stop led to three arrests for heroin trafficking Tuesday evening, Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks said on Wednesday.
Roger J. Becker, 67, and Miriam Sergent, 50, of 213 Meigs St., Marietta, were arrested at their residence. Later that evening, Roger L. Ward Jr., 34, of 1225 Weppler Road, Lowell, was arrested on Gilman Avenue in Marietta.
"The people are not related to each other, but there are some common factors that led us to both of them in the same evening," said Mincks.
Both arrests are the result of an investigation by the Major Crimes Task Force that has been ongoing for more than four weeks, said Mincks.
Executing a search warrant at the residence of Becker and Sergent, agents found seven small balloons of heroin that Becker and Sergent packaged to sell, according to the sheriff's office. Empty balloons and unpacked heroin were also found.
The officers seized 1.95 grams of heroin from the residence, or enough for 14 individual doses, officials said.
Becker and Sergent were charged with trafficking in heroin, a third-degree felony.
"After that we got some information that Ward might be in the area transporting drugs. We had prior information that he was under suspension," said Mincks.
Ward was located and stopped by the Major Crimes Task Force for driving under a suspended license, Mincks said.
"We engaged him in a conversation. He permitted us to search his vehicle," said Mincks.
A search of the vehicle turned up 13 balloons of heroin, officials said. Ward's 5-year-old, 3-year-old, and 8-month-old children were also traveling in the vehicle.
Though the children were not physically used to hide the drugs, agents believe Ward was using them so he could masquerade as just another family man traveling with kids, according to the sheriff's office.
Ward was charged with trafficking in heroin, a third-degree felony. Child endangerment charges could be forthcoming, said Mincks.
All three children were released into the custody of their mother, who was also in the vehicle, he said.
It is possible that more arrests will be forthcoming as a result of the investigation, Mincks said.
Becker has previous drug trafficking charges in 2005, 2006 and April of this year. Sergent was arrested on trafficking charges in 1995 and 2005. Ward was arrested for aggravated burglary in 1992, felonious assault in 1993 and robbery in 2003, said Mincks.
All three suspects remain incarcerated in the Washington County Jail in lieu of $25,000 bond.