GALLIPOLIS — A Cincinnati man was sentenced Thursday afternoon to 33 years in a state facility after being convicted of 10 felony offenses which included various drug charges as well as the first-degree felony crime of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity during a three-day trial.
Antonio McIntosh, 37, was convicted of trafficking in cocaine, a felony of the fifth-degree; complicity to trafficking in cocaine, a felony of the fifth-degree; possession of cocaine, a felony of the fifth-degree; possession of cocaine, a felony of the first-degree; possession of heroin, a felony of the second-degree; aggravated possession of methamphetamine, a felony of the third-degree; trafficking in cocaine, a felony of the first-degree; trafficking in heroin, a felony of the second-degree; aggravated trafficking in methamphetamine, a felony of the third-degree, and engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, a felony of the first-degree.
Gallia Common Pleas Judge Margaret Evans ordered that McIntosh serve his fifth-degree possession of drugs and trafficking conviction sentencings concurrently with his other 33 years in a state facility. Of the 10 counts, possession charges merged with their respective drug trafficking charges. The differing counts of possession of meth, heroin and cocaine did not merge.
According to Gallia Prosecutor Jason Holdren, a confidential informant went into a pool hall on State Route 7 once called the G-Spot and Rack ‘em Billiards and Grill in September 2015 and put money into a football bowl on a counter. Holdren said another individual named Stan Helms would go to retrieve cut and packaged drugs and would place those drugs on a speaker before a buyer could take them. The confidential informant would make a fist as a sign to indicate he was there to purchase crack cocaine.
Other charges would stem from the discovery of drugs between McIntosh’s home on Hubbard Avenue and the billiards hall in a fence line during search warrants served by law enforcement in April of last year. Law enforcement executed five no knock, night search warrants throughout Gallia County the same day after months of information gathering and surveillance in regards to the pool hall location. Law enforcement had previously dubbed it a hub of drug activity and source of organized crime. McIntosh was charged after socks in the fence line were discovered carrying drugs.
DNA evidence would later be discovered on one of the socks, linking McIntosh to the crime.
According to Holdren, Gallia-Meigs Task Force agents along with the Gallia Sheriff’s Office believe McIntosh to have been the head of the trafficking operation in the billiards hall.
McIntosh’s sister Ghitana McIntosh gave a statement during sentencing asking the court to be lenient with her brother because he was a father figure in the life of the children throughout the McIntosh family.
McIntosh’s defense counsel Isabella Dixon argued before the court that McIntosh should not receive the max sentencing terms of his convictions. She said she was not there to argue the facts of the case but that one should remember individuals came to buy drugs and that McIntosh should not be held as a symbol of disdain for drug trafficking. He was not the sole person to engage in illegal activity.
McIntosh apologized to those in the court for the difficulty and challenges faced during court proceedings. He said it was his right to be put on trial and he felt that the informant’s trial testimony was false. McIntosh felt more DNA should have been found on the socks with drugs had they actually been his. He claimed he had made mistakes in the past but that nearly three decades in prison was too harsh a sentencing.
“There was testimony at trial that (McIntosh) ran the operation at the pool hall,” said Holdren. “Stan Helms was probably right under him. There was testimony by the CI (criminal informant) that at one point, when the gig was up and the CI could no longer buy, he put his money into the bowl. McIntosh looked at Helms to direct the bartender to get his money out of the bowl. We felt this did a really good job of showing the hierarchy of who was in charge.”
Helms had reportedly been previously convicted and sentenced to a state facility last year for a total of 10 years in connection with court proceedings in Jackson and Gallia. Other individuals involved with the drug trafficking operation are still being investigated Holdren said.
“Agents from the task force testified about the (details of) a shake and bake meth lab that you would typically see in this part of the world,” said Holdren. “(The meth discovered in the socks) was not that. This was crystal meth which is typically brought in from Mexico to larger cities like Cincinnati, Columbus and Detroit.”
Holdren called larger cities like Columbus source cities and places like Gallipolis destination cities where drugs would be dealt.
According to the prosecution, McIntosh had previously served time in state as well as federal facilities.
“We’re eight months into this year and I feel that with the (Gallia) Sheriff’s Office and my own, we have demonstrated that we will continue our zero tolerance for drugs,” said Holdren. “If you’re bringing them here, we will find you.”
Dean Wright can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2103.