Bellefontaine Examiner

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Ratleff gets eight years in Union County case



A successful investigation by the Logan County Joint Drug Task Force has led to an eight-year prison term for Lawrence Ratleff Jr.,  55, of Bellefontaine.

He was sentenced this week by a Union County Common Pleas Court judge for two second-degree felony counts of possession of heroin.

The case against Ratleff stems from a lengthy investigation into his drug trafficking throughout Logan County in 2012, the task force reports.

Working with the Drug Enforcement Agency and Union County’s drug task force, investigators here passed along intelligence that led to three separate traffic stops in Union and Champaign counties between late October and early November.

Each time he was apprehended traveling with narcotics, primarily heroin. The investigation covered more than five counties.

He was indicted for one first-degree felony charge of engaging in a pattern of corrupt behavior; two second-degree felony counts of possession of heroin; two second-degree felony counts of trafficking in heroin; two third-degree felony counts of tampering with evidence; and two fifth-degree felony counts of possession of criminal tools.

The defendant and his attorney accepted a plea agreement after the first day of his trial.

He also has pleaded guilty in Champaign County to third-degree felony charges of possession of heroin and tampering with evidence, and is awaiting sentencing on these separate charges.

“Locally, the task force believes Ratleff’s participation in bringing heroin into Logan County substantially contributed to the local drug climate over a period of months,” Bellefontaine Police Chief Brandon Standley said on behalf of the task force. 

“The Logan County Joint Drug Task Force is committed to pursuing drug traffickers that are attempting to destroy neighborhoods by their criminal enterprise.”

He encourage residents to contact either his department, the Logan County Sheriff’s Office or village or township police regarding suspected drug activity. All information is reviewed for potential use in furthering criminal investigations.


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