- Former Portsmouth city councilman Michael Mearan detained by police; home raided
- Trapped and trafficked: One town's dark secret
- State officials take major role in Portsmouth, Ohio, sex trafficking investigation
- NEW INFO: Former Wheelersburg "Pill Mill" Doctor Commits Suicide
- Ohio moves to suspend insurance agent allegedly involved in Portsmouth sex ring
Former Portsmouth city councilman Michael Mearan detained by police; home raidedBut according to a federal wiretap affidavit, which was filed under seal with the Southern District of Ohio but was obtained by The Enquirer, Mearan is not just a jowly, silver-haired local attorney. The affidavit — filed in August by a senior special agent with the U. Drug Enforcement Administration — casts Mearan as a central figure in a drug and sex trafficking ring operating throughout the Midwest. The DEA investigation appears to have concluded in Octoberwhen the last of eight defendants pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute heroin and other drugs. Mearan, however, was not among those charged. The allegations concerning him remain investigative findings in a sworn affidavit that have not been proven in court. Rumors about Mearan, sex trafficking and local corruption have been something of an open secret in Portsmouth for years. And those tales gained credibility in December after an ex-reporter with the Portsmouth Daily Times posted excerpts of the DEA affidavit on a Facebook page. Enquirer reporters picked up where the DEA affidavit ended by spending a year visiting Portsmouth to investigate the allegations concerning Mearan. Among those interviewed were 10 women who separately shared accounts of working for Mearan as a prostitute at various times over the last two decades. Records show that Mearan had represented six of the women facing drug charges. Those women said Mearan, as their defense attorney, promised lenient sentences from judges he knew and parole officers who would ignore probation requirements — as long as the women were willing to have sex for money. Mearan, they said, would give them money to feed their drug habits and arranged sexual liaisons with men in Portsmouth, Cincinnati and Columbus, and out-of-state trips to New York, New Jersey, Louisiana and Florida. In two interviews with The Enquirer, Mearan — who was sometimes joking and dismissive and other times angry and combative — consistently denied any suggestion that he had engaged in prostitution or sex trafficking. Now, you think in 50 years they would have maybe come up with something? Sources with firsthand knowledge told The Enquirer that there is, in fact, an ongoing investigation into Mearan by multiple law enforcement agencies. The sources requested anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose the existence of an active investigation. Besides Mearan, the women who spoke with The Enquirer collectively named several well-known individuals from the Portsmouth area who they alleged had paid to have sex with them. The list includes former police officers, lawyers, a medical professional, a former high school football star, businessmen and probation officers. The Enquirer is not naming the men unless the allegations against them have been otherwise corroborated. But I also have family to protect. She said she also performed oral sex for a different probation officer. Everybody's in each other's pocket. Scioto County, where Portsmouth is the county seat, is one of the poorest and least employed regions in the state. In downtown Portsmouth, boards are as prevalent as windows, and former department stores and office buildings now house low-end apartments for the elderly. Prostitutes walk the streets day and night near an abandoned shoe factory east of town.
Trapped and trafficked: One town's dark secret
It was the escape Linda Mills had long sought from a life she said was filled with physical and sexual abuse. Instead, Mills said she was trafficked at age 15, sent to be a prostitute in Chicago by a member of local law enforcement. Two of those women, including Mills, said Phil Malone had sex with them when they were underage and either trafficked them or tried to send them away for sex. The Enquirer spent the last two months investigating the claims against the Malone brothers after publishing the results of a yearlong investigation in March into allegations of sex trafficking here against former Portsmouth Councilman Michael Mearan and others. The initial Enquirer report detailed accusations by 10 different women against Mearan, a well-known defense lawyer in town, as well as the contents of a federal law enforcement affidavit outlining Mearan's part in an alleged sex trafficking operation. Another woman said she had sexual contact with Mark Malone while serving community service at the office when he was in charge. Mark Malone, the former city probation director, is on administrative leave for possible illegal activity. His brother and former city probation officer Phil Malone was recently charged with a felony. Phil Malone, 64, has been charged with forgery charges in a case also involving Artressia. He did not respond to questions when asked to comment after his recent arraignment. Malone are not true. Portsmouth Municipal Court Judge Russell Kegley last month placed Mark Malone, 58, on paid administrative leave, making note in a letter announcing the move of "a possible investigation" into "alleged illegal acts. Mills said her maternal grandfather abused her from a very young age, raping her repeatedly throughout her childhood he died several years ago. She said he used to give her gifts, including inexpensive jewelry and cards to play at the local bingo hall. She began posing nude for Phil Malone, who soon said he had lined up a modeling contract for her in Chicago. She got on a bus with some cash and said he paid for the ticket. She said her handler drove her across the country in a Ford Mustang to have sex with other men, and once flew her to New York for more of the same. She became pregnant in from an unknown customer. Another woman, Nadja Isis, said she also lived with Mills and their handler and worked as a prostitute for the man. Kayla Artressia said she started smoking pot at age 14 and a year later began injecting the semi-synthetic opioid painkiller OxyContin to get high. And then it became to where it was sexual. It was not just a couple. It was a lot. She provided The Enquirer copies of Paypal receipts for cash from him received over the last three years, saying she only took money for sex or pictures from Phil Malone. She said she now feels he was using the relationship to get sex in return for favorable treatment for her children, some of whom were in the criminal justice system. Kayla Artressia and Phil Malone have been charged and indicted on felony forgery and other charges after he allegedly helped her falsify documents as a notary public. His file includes several commendations during the s, including his performance during the riots at the state prison in Lucasville in But in an interview last year, Malone said he was called to help with a fight at the Scioto County Jail that resulted in a broken neck and serious injuries to his hand. After his firing, Malone landed a job with the Portsmouth City Probation Department, where his boss was his brother, Mark. InPhil Malone was accused of bringing women who were on probation to his house to have sex for money. He was charged with procuring a prostitute, and a different judge was brought in to oversee the case. Malone pleaded no contest and served a year of probation, according to those documents.
State officials take major role in Portsmouth, Ohio, sex trafficking investigation
The report obtained by The Associated Press indicates that Dr. Victor Georgescu died Aug. Greater Medical Advance was the last pain clinic in Scioto County before it was shut down last year. George Adkins, its owner and Georgescu's employer, is serving a year prison term for illegal drug distribution following his conviction in September. Georgescu was scheduled for a trial on charges of engaging in corrupt activity, conspiracy to engage in corrupt activity, funding drug trafficking and permitting drug abuse. Last month, Adkins pleaded guilty to five counts of the original 48 count indictment against him. Authorities found that he operated the business as a pill mill from June until Decemberwhen authorities raided and shut down the clinic. Investigators say that Dr. Victor Georgescu, of Centerville, Ohio, operated the clinic for Adkins. He was arrested following the raid and faced similar charges. Georgescu was found dead last month in a motel room in Trumbill County, Ohio. His case never made it to trial. Two other people were also charged. Tammy Newman pleaded guilty to conspiracy to engage in a pattern of corrupt activity, and Melissa Veach was expected to enter a plea in a hearing later Friday afternoon. She was arrested on drug trafficking charges. That hearing was postponed till December. Adkins was originally indicted on 27 counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs, 9 counts of trafficking in drugs, 7 counts of forgery and one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity. He never made it to trial. Tammy Newman pleaded guilty to conspiracy to engage in a pattern of corrupt activity, and Melissa Veach is awaiting trial on drug trafficking charges. Adkins' plea represents one of the first convictions on the state level against a non-prescriber for the management and activities connected to a pill mill. He worked for year-old George Marshall Adkins who owned the clinic.
NEW INFO: Former Wheelersburg "Pill Mill" Doctor Commits Suicide
Let friends in your social network know what you are reading about. Ohio Attorney General lawyers are leading possible prosecution of alleged sex trafficker Michael Mearan, under investigation for possible disbarring. A link has been sent to your friend's email address. A link has been posted to your Facebook feed. Welcome to our new and improved commentswhich are for subscribers only. This is a test to see whether we can improve the experience for you. You do not need a Facebook profile to participate. You will need to register before adding a comment. Typed comments will be lost if you are not logged in. Please be polite. It's OK to disagree with someone's ideas, but personal attacks, insults, threats, hate speech, advocating violence and other violations can result in a ban. If you see comments in violation of our community guidelinesplease report them. Several women say they were lured into an alleged sex trafficking ring run by a local defense attorney in Portsmouth, Ohio. Cincinnati Enquirer. In addition, top lawyers with the Ohio Attorney General's Office will lead the possible prosecution of those involved in the alleged operation, the sources said. Everybody deserves justice. Nobody deserves to be enslaved. Somebody with a long criminal history still deserves not to be stabbed or shot. Sources also said the Ohio Board of Professional Conduct, which oversees judges and lawyers, also has launched an investigation into Mearan. That organization can suspend or disbar lawyers and judges. The sources asked not to be identified because they did not have permission to speak publicly. The women and others also tied a former judge and other public officials to the operation. Marshall from practicing law for six months on an unrelated matter. The judge retired shortly before that discipline was announced. Under the disciplinary counsel's rules, any such investigation into a lawyer or a judge can last only up to a year. The criminal investigation has been underway for months, as originally reported by The Enquirer in March. But the addition of the BCI agents and state attorneys could mean an acceleration of the process. Scioto County Prosecutor Shane Tieman, who normally heads prosecution of such crimes in Portsmouth, declined to comment. More: Portsmouth leaders announce community pep rally. Mearan has repeatedly denied the accusations against him. Also Monday, Marshall denied any involvement with Mearan other than on a professional basis. He was reprimanded by the Supreme Court based on a recommendation from the disciplinary counsel for that infraction.