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Officers reportedly fired upon during drug bust

Gallipolis Daily Tribune, Ohio • Jan 3, 2017 at 5:00 PM

CLAY TOWNSHIP — Gallia-Meigs Task Force agents, along with Gallia Sheriff’s Office deputies, served a search warrant at a residence on Cooper Road where they were fired upon when attempting to enter the residence early Monday morning.

Gallia Sheriff Matt Champlin reports that within hours of taking office, the Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commissions Major Crimes Task Force of Gallia-Meigs with the assistance of Gallia County Prosecutor Jason Holdren, was able secure a search warrant after a lengthy narcotics investigation. Sheriff’s deputies along with task force agents, executed the search warrant on Jan. 2 at approximately 12:45 a.m. at 672 Cooper Road near Gallipolis in northern Clay Township.

As law enforcement approached the front door of the residence officers knocked and announced they were there to serve a search warrant. While attempting to breach the door, two shots were allegedly fired from inside the residence and exited near the door where officers were attempting to gain entry. Moments later, a male allegedly pushed a window open and tossed a firearm which landed in the vicinity of other officers at the rear of the residence. Officers were able to make entry into the residence and detained Joseph M. Ellis, 35, and Amber N. Stewart, 32. Gallia County Children’s Services were contacted due to Stewart’s 5-year-old son being home at the time of the incident.

Once the scene was secured, law enforcement searched the residence and property. Task force agents seized several items including a .22 caliber pistol, over 17 grams of heroin, marijuana and pills along with sets of digital scales. Agents also seized over $4,500 in cash money.

After conferring with Gallia County Prosecutor Jason Holdren, agents arrested Ellis and charged him with felonious assault, a first-degree felony, due to a reported attack on an officer, trafficking in heroin, a first-degree felony in the vicinity of a juvenile and possession of heroin with a gun specification as a felony of the second-degree. Ellis was also charged with child endangerment, a misdemeanor of the first-degree. Ellis is incarcerated in the Gallia County Jail awaiting a court appearance. Stewart is charged with trafficking in heroin, a felony of the first-degree in the vicinity of a juvenile, possession of heroin a second-degree felony with a gun specification and child endangerment, a misdemeanor of the first-degree. She is incarcerated in the Gallia County Jail awaiting a court appearance.

Sheriff Champlin reported the Gallia County Sheriff Office, the Major Crimes Task Force of Gallia-Meigs, the Gallia County Prosecutor Jason Holdren and Gallia County Children’s Services were all on scene.

The Major Crimes Task Force of Gallia-Meigs is a state task force under the jurisdiction the Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission which is part of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, the task force was formed in September 2013. The task force is formed by the Gallia and Meigs County Sheriff’s Offices, Gallipolis and Middleport Police Departments and the Gallia and Meigs County Prosecutor Offices.

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©2017 the Gallipolis Daily Tribune (Gallipolis, Ohio)

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