Unwelcomed visitors

At least three unwelcome guests came to our community last week, but local law enforcement had a welcoming committee ready to greet them and show them to their quarters.

Three residents of Coshocton — a small city of about 11,000 people located east of Columbus and north of Zanesville – met up with members of the Belmont County Major Crimes Unit at the Pilot truck stop near Morristown. According to St. Clairsville police Officer T.J. Weyand, a member of the investigating unit, the trio had illegal drugs and weapons in their possession.

Officers conducted a “buy-bust” then arrested the three individuals. They included:

∫ Amy Mount, 47, of Coshocton, who was charged with possession of drug abuse instruments. She was lodged at the Belmont County Jail in lieu of a $750 bond;

∫ Chaz Gillilan, 31, of Coshocton, arrested for possession of methamphetamine, weapons under disability, carrying a concealed weapon and receiving stolen property. Gillilan was placed at the county jail on $80,000 bond.

∫ And Devin Carpenter, 25, of Coshocton, who was arrested for possession of methamphetamine, having weapons under disability, carrying a concealed weapon, receiving stolen property, and trafficking in drugs. Carpenter was lodged at the county jail on $30,000 bond.

In addition, officers said they recovered 34 grams of meth, a loaded 9 mm handgun that had been reported stolen out of Guernsey County, and various drug paraphernalia.

Obviously, these individuals posed a danger to the residents of Belmont County. Many of us come and go from that Pilot location on a daily basis, and the last thing we want to encounter there is an armed drug dealer. Yet it appears that is exactly who came to that location last week.

In an area crisscrossed by interstates, it is an easy matter for those with criminal intent to arrive here. They can easily drive in and out without being noticed, just another one of the thousands of vehicles that pass through the region daily.

But this tie, our local law enforcement officers didn’t let that happen. Kudos to them for remaining vigilant and informed, making these arrests possible. We wish them well in their future efforts at keeping illegal drug traffickers from other cities from operating in our area.