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Authorities arrest Athens County drug suspect

Roger Rutter

ATHENS, Ohio — The suspected leader of an Athens/Perry County drug ring was apprehended Friday after two weeks on the run, the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office announced.

Roger Rutter, 50, of Glouster, was indicted in March on second-degree felony charges of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and aggravated possession of drugs. A release from the prosecutor’s office said Rutter was aware there was a warrant out for his arrest because a post requesting information on his whereabouts was shared by his Facebook account.

On Monday, April 5, Rutter was found by investigators with the prosecutor’s office on Ohio 13 in Glouster, but he fled into a nearby wooded area and could not be located, the release said.

After receiving a tip, investigators found Rutter Friday at the 39 Broad St., Glouster, home of Daniel Meade. They obtained consent to search the property and discovered Rutter hiding in an upstairs bedroom, the release said.

“We’re glad to have him off the streets, especially considering the amount of drugs he’s put out there,” prosecutor’s office Chief Investigator Jay Barrett said.

Athens County Prosecutor’s Office Chief Investigator Jay Barrett, left, escorts Roger Rutter into a vehicle following Rutter’s arrest Friday in Glouster. (Photo Provided)

Rutter was arrested without incident, as was Meade on a charge of harboring a fugitive. They were taken by Athens County Sheriff’s deputies to the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail. Glouster Police officers also assisted at the scene.

Rutter was sentenced in 2016 to two years in prison after pleading guilty to multiple drug-related felonies. Among the charges was involuntary manslaughter after a woman overdosed at his home.

Rutter is also charged with four unrelated counts of hunting without permission and two counts of prohibited acts. The misdemeanor charges allege he cultivated wild ginseng out of season.

Rutter is scheduled to be arraigned today in Athens County Common Pleas Court. First Assistant Prosecutor Meg Saunders said that because he has already fled from officers, the prosecution will request a “considerably high bond.”

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