Three arrested in Franklin Furnace after suspected drugs, firearms, and cash seized


Scioto County Sheriff David Thoroughman makes first bust after being sworn in. Officers discovered and seized approximately 635 grams of suspected methamphetamine, a.k.a “ice”, 90 grams of powder suspected of being fentanyl, 7 firearms, $28,308 cash, and additional evidence of drug trafficking. Estimated street value of the suspected drugs seized is $36,200.

FRANKLIN FURNACE — Scioto County Sheriff David Thoroughman and Portsmouth Police Chief Debby Brewer announced that three Franklin Furnace, Ohio residents have been arrested on drug and weapon offenses resulting from an investigation conducted by the Southern Ohio Drug Task Force, which consists of narcotics detectives from the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office, the Portsmouth Police Department, and agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

At approximately 7:00a.m. on January 6, 2021, task force officers assisted by Portsmouth P.D. SWAT executed narcotics related search warrants on a recreational vehicle occupied by 57-year-old Robert Blanton and the residence of 53-year-old Larry Stapleton and 45-year-old Kelly McGowan located on Stapleton’s property at 2584 Cartro Road Franklin Furnace, Ohio.

During a search officers discovered and seized approximately 635 grams of suspected methamphetamine, a.k.a “ice”, 90 grams of powder suspected of being fentanyl, 7 firearms, $28,308 cash, and additional evidence of drug trafficking. Estimated street value of the suspected drugs seized is $36,200.

Blanton, Stapleton, and McGowan were charged with Trafficking and Possession of Drugs, both felonies of the 1st degree. Blanton was additionally charged with Having a Weapon While Under Disability, a felony of the 3rd degree.

All three arrestees were placed in the Scioto County Jail and are scheduled to be arraigned in Portsmouth Municipal Court on Friday, January 8, 2021 at 9:00a.m.

The case will eventually be forwarded to the Scioto County Prosecutor’s Office to be presented to a Scioto County Grand Jury for the consideration of additional felony charges against all arrestees.

Sheriff Thoroughman and Chief Brewer would like to thank the tactical medics from the Portsmouth Fire Department for their assistance with execution of the warrants and request anyone wishing to leave drug information for the Southern Ohio Drug Task Force, to phone the Task Force tip line at (740) 354-5656 or email drugs@sciotocountysheriff.com. All information will be kept confidential and anonymous.