It was once a nest of drug-related activity in Washington Court House but today the house at 332 N. Main St. appears to be vacant.
Activity began to decline near the latter half of last year, as arrests were made after concerned residents reported crime tips to police about unusual activity in the neighborhood
The Washington C.H. Police Department has increased its patrol recently and hired new police officers to help handle the reports from residents in the city concerned about suspected drug-related activity in their neighborhoods. The crime tips that come from residents are helpful to police in enforcing laws and protecting the public.
“They’re the eyes and ears of the neighborhood and we’re better informed if they let us know what’s going on, and we do investigate all tips,” said Brian Hottinger, Washington C.H. police chief.
A person on Main Street called police Sept. 14 to report a possible heroin sale. The caller said the person was leaving the residence of 332 N. Main St. An officer went to check for the possible drug activity and made a traffic stop on a person riding a bicycle who failed to stop for a stop sign in the neighborhood. The officer identified the cyclist as Angela T. Leisure, 48.
Police said they were already familiar with Leisure, who lives in Washington C.H., because she had overdosed once before and had another case against her. The K-9 “Edo” was brought to the scene and two small bundles of heroin and drug paraphernalia were located in Leisure’s wallet inside her purse. She was arrested, taken to jail and given a notice for a future date to appear in court.
Leisure plead guilty recently to the possession of heroin charge, a fifth-degree felony, and possession of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.
Leisure was sentenced to five years of community control Feb. 6. She began treatment for her addiction prior to sentencing. Steven Beathard, Fayette County Court of Common Pleas judge, ordered Leisure to complete her current course of treatment at Fayette Women’s Recovery, including any aftercare. If Leisure violates her court sentence and does not successfully continue and complete treatment, she will serve a six-month prison sentence.
Two weeks later, at the same residence of 332 N. Main St., police were called Oct. 1 to a drug overdose.
In an upstairs bedroom, EMTs were working to resuscitate a man who was not breathing. They administered two doses of Narcan and he began to breathe again. As the paramedics were attending to the man, Melissa M. Hagler, 52, came into the bedroom, grabbed several items, and walked out.
The police followed Hagler downstairs, where she dropped a clear plastic baggie on the floor. She placed her foot over top of it and pretended like it wasn’t there, and then ran into the bathroom. The police followed her into the bathroom and were able to recover the baggie, which contained Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, before she could destroy it.
Hagler plead guilty Feb. 16 to aggravated possession of drugs and is scheduled for sentencing March 7.
Reach Ashley at (740) 335-3611 or on Twitter @ashbunton