Butcher pleads not guilty following major drug bust

Amber Gillenwater

October 8, 2013

GALLIPOLIS — A Gallia County man who was arrested in late August in connection with one of the largest drug busts in the county’s history pleaded not guilty on Friday to second degree felony charges of drug possession and drug trafficking in addition to a third degree felony charge of having weapons under disability.

Dennis C. Butcher, 60, Middleport, was arrested along with his wife, Tammy L. Butcher, 52, during the early morning hours of Saturday, August 24, at their home located at 38067 Zuspan Hollow Road, near the Gallia-Meigs county line.

According to the original complaint filed with the Gallipolis Municipal Court in this case, prior to the bust, the Gallia County Sheriff’s Office, working closely with the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office, obtained a search warrant for the Butcher’s residence, and, upon executing the warrant in August, deputies seized approximately 79 pounds of marijuana inside the residence and garage, as well as firearms and approximately $757,000 in cash.

The pair later made initial court appearances in the municipal court where they were both charged with drug possession and drug trafficking, while Dennis Butcher was also charged with having weapons under disability. Tammy Butcher’s bond was set at $50,000, 10 percent, while her husband’s bond was set at $100,000, 10 percent. Bond was later posted for each defendant’s release from the Gallia County Jail.

In early September, both cases were bound over to the Gallia County Common Pleas Court where the husband and wife were subsequently indicted by a grand jury.

Tammy Butcher later appeared on a summons for arraignment last month and pleaded not guilty to a second degree felony charge of possessing 35,830 grams of marijuana, as well as a second degree drug trafficking charge of preparing the drug for sale and distribution.

Her bond was continued from municipal court and she was released from custody.

A jury trial in this case has been set for January 28. A negotiated plea agreement may be filed by December 27.

She is being represented by public defender Barbara Wallen in this case.

During Friday’s hearing, Dennis Butcher, also appearing on a summons on indictment, appeared with his retained counsel Bradley Koffel. His bond was continued from the municipal court and he was later released from custody.

A negotiated plea agreement in this case may be filed with the clerk of courts office by January 13. A jury trial has been scheduled for February 10.