GALLIPOLIS — The case against a local man who was arrested in late August in connection with one of the largest drug busts in Gallia County’s history has now been resolved, according to documents filed with the Gallia County Clerk of Courts office.
Dennis C. Butcher, 61, Middleport, has reportedly negotiated a plea agreement with the Gallia County Prosecutor’s Office and is now scheduled to appear before Gallia County Common Pleas Judge D. Dean Evans on Tuesday, March 11 for a plea and sentencing hearing.
Butcher was arrested along with his wife, Tammy L. Butcher, 53, during the early morning hours of Saturday, August 24 at their home located at 38067 Zuspan Hollow Road, near the Gallia-Meigs county line.
According to the original complaint filed with the Gallipolis Municipal Court in this case, prior to the bust, the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office, working closely with the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office, obtained a search warrant for the Butcher residence, and, upon executing the warrant in August, deputies seized approximately 79 pounds of marijuana inside the residence and garage, as well as firearms and over $750,000 in cash.
The pair later made initial court appearances in the municipal court where they were both charged with drug possession and drug trafficking, while Dennis Butcher was also charged with having weapons under disability. Tammy Butcher’s bond was set at $50,000, 10 percent, while her husband’s bond was set at $100,000, 10 percent. Bond was later posted for each defendant’s release from the Gallia County Jail.
In early September, both cases were bound over to the Gallia County Common Pleas Court where the husband and wife were subsequently indicted by a grand jury.
Both later appeared in the common pleas court on a summons on indictment and pleaded not guilty to a second-degree felony charge of possessing 35,830 grams of marijuana, as well as a second-degree felony drug trafficking charge of preparing the drug for sale and distribution. Dennis Butcher also pleaded not guilty to a three-degree felony charge of having weapons under disability.
Bond in both cases was continued from the municipal court and the pair was released from custody.
A proposed plea agreement in the case against Dennis Butcher was filed early last week with the clerk of courts, and, according to the document, the prosecution will recommend to the court that the defendant, upon pleading guilty to count two of the indictment, will be sentenced to a total of 18 months of incarceration and will be given credit for time served.
In consideration of the proposed plea, it is expected that Butcher will also be ordered to pay a fine in the amount of $5,000 and will agree not to contest and cooperate in the civil forfeiture of $773,101 cash, as well as a 1934 Chevrolet and currency coin proof sets. In addition, Butcher will agree to forfeit a Winchester Model 1894 30/30 with scope, a H and R Topper Model 158, a Remington Fieldmaster 22 and a Glenfield Model 70 22LR to the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office.
Further, the negotiated plea states that the State of Ohio will agree to dismiss the charges filed against Tammy Butcher in relation to this case.