Muskingum County Prosecutor
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 1, 2023
Major drug offender gets maximum prison sentence
A Zanesville drug supplier received the maximum prison sentence of 14 years last week after pleading guilty to major drug offender level offenses.
Marcus Pitts, 38, was sentenced on one first-degree felony count of possession of methamphetamine with a major drug offender specification and one third-degree felony count of having weapons while under disability.
Members of the Central Ohio Drug Enforcement Task Force (CODE) began investigating Pitts after receiving tips from the community about frequent stop-and-go activity at his house on Luck Avenue.
After monitoring activity at the home for several days in February, CODE agents and the Morgan County Probation Department searched the defendant’s home.
At the time, Pitts was under the supervision of the Morgan County probation department after a judge granted him judicial release on a previous felonious assault case in 2018.
Under the conditions of his release sanctions, Pitts and his residence were subject to search by members of the Morgan County probation department at any time.
On Feb. 14, the defendant’s probation officer found a bag containing $2,478 in cash and suboxone strips, a commonly used drug of abuse, inside the freezer of a mini-fridge in Pitts’ bedroom. The officer also found a one-gallon Ziplock bag containing methamphetamine.
The Zanesville Police Department arrested Pitts on site.
That same afternoon, members of the CODE Task Force and ZPD continued searching the residence on a search warrant.
During their search, detectives found two semi-automatic handguns. The serial number of one of the firearms was scratched off.
In the basement, detectives also located packaging materials used for large-scale drug trafficking, often in kilo or pound levels. The materials also contained residue consistent with drugs.
“Even though drugs have always been a problem, it wasn’t long ago that it was extremely rare to see a major drug offender case in Muskingum County. These big cases now seem routine, not because there’s more drugs, but because our detectives are highly effective at leveraging every tool available to get these dealers off the street using large busts that generate substantial prison terms,” Assistant Prosecutor John Litle, who handled the case, said. “Major drug dealers require significant sentences because of the danger they pose, the violence of their trade, their extreme likelihood to reoffend and the large-scale devastation they have on a community. There are more charges coming to persons out of this case, and more cases are to follow.”
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