Jefferson County grand jury hands down indictments

STEUBENVILLE — A woman from Chicago who was pulled over in a traffic stop in Wintersville, which led to the largest drug bust in village history, was indicted on Wednesday by the Jefferson County grand jury.

Alicia L. Griffin, 47, was pulled over by a village office on Main Street around 9 p.m. on July 14, said Police Chief Arthur Fowler.

Fowler said the driver of the vehicle, Griffin, was found to be in possession of a half a kilogram of cocaine, a large amount of heroin, crystal methamphetamine, MDMA, or “molly,” and more than one pound of marijuana.

Two handguns were found in the vehicle, one of which had been reported stolen out of Steubenville in September, Fowler said. A large amount of cash also was confiscated.

Griffin was indicted on charges of possession of heroin and cocaine, both having specifications of Griffin being a major drug offender, which alone could bring an eight-year mandatory sentence; possession of methamphetamine; possession of MDMA, felony possession of marijuana; having a weapon under disability; improper handling of a firearm in a motor vehicle; and receiving stolen property.

Two men were indicted for alleged sex crimes against children.

Paul F. Hall, 58, of 382 McLister Ave., Mingo Junction, was indicted on two counts of first-degree rape and one count of gross sexual imposition.

Everett C. Mitchell, 40, of 1644 Roosevelt Ave. was indicted on two counts each of sexual battery and attempted sexual battery, single counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and sexual imposition.

Thomas E. Walenciej, 42, of 1024 Adams St. was indicted on felony counts of open burning of scrap tires, open dumping of scrap tires and unregistered transportation of scrap tires. Jefferson County Prosecutor Jane Hanlin said Walenciej was caught by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources burning tires along the bank of the Ohio River in Toronto in May.

The grand jury also returned the following cases:

¯ Dante M. Grossi, 37, of Moundsville, single counts of drug possession and illegal conveyance of drugs into the county jail. She also was indicted in a separate case charging drug possession.

¯ Larry W. Sapp, 64, of 1671 county Road 47, Toronto, passing bad checks and two counts of felony theft.

¯ Michael P. Wilson, 41, of 193 Smithfield St., Dillonvale, passing bad checks and two counts of felony theft.

¯ Bryan J. Whittaker, 38, 235 Union St., Mount Pleasant, two counts of forgery and single counts of theft, receiving stolen property and attempted theft.


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