Crooksville man facing multiple drug charges, 11 to 44 years in jail

James E. Harris

ZANESVILLE, Ohio – After searching a vehicle and residence, over $25,000 worth of drugs along with several vehicles and cash were taken, according to the Muskingum County Sheriff’s Office and Zanesville Police Department.

Sheriff Matt Lutz and Chief Tony Coury announced the arrest made against a, “major drug offender.” They say the arrest, “dismantled a multi-county drug operation.”

According to authorities, 30-year-old James E. Harris of Crooksville was taken into custody after a traffic stop by the Central Ohio Drug Enforcement Task Force. During the stop, K9 Officer Argo alerted authorities to illegal narcotics inside the vehicle.

Lutz says over 100 grams of cocaine and 200 grams of methamphetamine were found inside the vehicle. The street value of those drugs is about $25,000.

After searching Harris’ residence, authorities say they seized several vehicles and cash.

Harris is facing several felony of the first degree charges including:

  • One count of trafficking in cocaine with a major drug offender.
  • One count of trafficking in meth with a major drug offender.
  • One count of possession of cocaine with a major drug offender.
  • One count of possession of meth.

If convicted, Harris would face between 11 and 44 years in jail. He is currently being held in the Muskingum County jail on a $750,000 bond.

Lutz says Harris could also face additional charges from Perry County.

Lutz said this investigation was held over a period of time and credited the public for sending in tips. He says Harris is connected to drug activity in homes across Muskingum County.

“He was taken into custody off of a traffic stop that actually happened down around Crooksville, Roseville, coming out of Perry County into our county. And we believe this guy is connected to a couple of different drug investigations that we’ve been doing up here — at a couple different houses. One being being in the city and one being in the county.”

Coury says Harris is a major drug offender.

“He’s a pretty big fish, that’s a lot — that’s a lot of dope. Any time we charge somebody with a major drug offense they have a lot of drugs on them,” he said. “Well I would say that in his world, he was probably near the top — for him. He’s not small, street-level — with that kind of weight. So he’s — whatever he’s running — whatever he was running — he would be the top.”

According to authorities, the ongoing investigation is made up of a combined effort with members of Muskingum County/Zanesville City Joint Drug Unit, CODE Task Force, the Muskingum County Sheriff’s Patrol Division and the Zanesville Police Department Patrol Division.

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