• Scioto County Sheriff's Office

Suspicious Person Complaint Leads to Discovery of Methamphetamine in West Portsmouth, Ohio

Updated: May 13

NEWS RELEASE

May 4, 2022


Scioto County Sheriff David Thoroughman announced that a complaint of a suspicious

person in West Portsmouth lead to the discovery of a large about of Methamphetamine.


On Wednesday, May 4, 2022 at approximately 1:26 a.m., a call came into the Emergency

Communications Center of the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office. The caller advised of an

unknown person in her driveway, located in the 200 block of Coleman Rd. West Portsmouth,

Ohio.


Deputy Kade Conley was dispatched and upon his arrival the complainant advised that the

unknown male was dropped off by a person in a black Ford Mustang. The complainant advised

that the vehicle then came back, driving at a high rate of speed.


Deputy Conley, following up on the complaint, went to 552 Coleman Road, along with

Sergeant Brian Nolen. Upon their arrival they located two vehicles parked in the roadway

blocking the road. One of the vehicles were the Ford Mustang, the second vehicle was a Mazda

truck.


Deputies located a male subject near the truck, that male (William Smith) had a warrant for

his arrest. In plain view inside the truck was what appeared to be a black handgun and a drug

needle. Deputies located what appears to be marijuana and a digital scale, which is used in the

sale of drugs, inside the truck.


A male, who identified himself as the owner of the residence, advised that William Smith, his

daughter and a male named Charles Lute were the only ones supposed to be in the residence.

Deputies conducted a warrant check on Charles Lute and discovered a warrant for his arrest.


Deputies asked permission to enter the residence to confirm that this is the correct Charles Lute.

The owner, Randall Shepherd, advised deputies that he would go get Charles Lute.


As the owner entered the house the deputies remained outside the entrance, watching the

owner. The owner entered a separate room, at which time deputies heard screaming and arguing

from within the room. The deputies then entered to ensure the safety of everyone inside.


Deputies located drugs, a firearm, and drug paraphilia in plain view after entering. Shepherd then reentered the vehicle that he arrived in. Sergeant Nolen asked if he had anything illegal in the truck, and he advised that he had a small amount of marijuana. Shepherd removed a container which contained marijuana. Deputies located a set of scales in the truck.


Deputies contacted the Organized & Major Crimes Task Force to respond. A consent search

was conducted of the residence and a locked safe was located, as well as a “pill press”. Shepherd

advised that he does not know whose safe it was, nor how it got secured to the walls of his

residence. The Task Force took possession of the safe, transporting it to their office, in attempts

to obtain a search warrant.


Arrested was William Ashley Smith, age 41, of 1763 Dry Run Rd. West Portsmouth, Ohio.

Smith was arrested on warrant for Contempt of Court out of the Scioto County Domestic

Relations Court, a Felony 5. Also arrested was Charles M. Lute III, age 32, of 35557 B Pleasant

Ave. Portsmouth, Ohio. Lute was arrested on a Bench Warrant for Escape, a misdemeanor of the

1st degree.


A search warrant was obtained for the safe. Inside the safe was located 125 grams of Meth,

34 grams of Fentanyl, 7 grams of Cocaine, $1,000 cash, and two (2) sawed-off shotguns with

lasers. The case is still under investigation and will be presented to a Scioto County Grand Jury

for charges.


Sheriff Thoroughman request anyone wishing to leave drug information to phone the Task

Force tip line at (740) 354-5656 or email drugs@sciotocountysheriff.com. All information will

be kept confidential and anonymous.