Thursday, May 1, 2003

Fla. man accused of selling OxyContin in Butler Co.

By Janice Morse
The Cincinnati Enquirer

HAMILTON - A 46-year-old Florida man is accused of selling and possessing significant amounts of OxyContin, a powerful prescription painkiller, in Butler County.

In a grand jury report released Wednesday, Gregory F. Williams of Cape Coral, Fla., is charged with three counts of aggravated trafficking in drugs, two counts of aggravated possession of drugs, a weapons charge and permitting drug abuse.

The charges accuse Williams of possessing or selling drugs near Elda Elementary School in Ross Township, providing for harsher penalties if he is convicted, said Assistant Prosecutor Craig Hedric. Williams had offered to sell up to 80 OxyContin pills to an undercover Butler sheriff's deputy at one time, and Williams actually had possessed up to 50 of the pills at one time, Hedric said.

Ohio law says alleged drug offenders may face a second-degree felony, punishable by a maximum of eight years in prison, for illegally possessing six or more 80-milligram OxyContins, Hedric said.

Wilbur H. Romans, 26, of Harrison, was indicted on two counts of complicity to aggravated trafficking in drugs. Both men are scheduled to appear May 7 before Common Pleas Judge Michael J. Sage.

Among other indictments released Wednesday:

• A St. Clair Township man is accused of causing significant burns to his girlfriend's 6-year-old daughter. Richard L. Nitz Jr., 30, faces a felony child-endangering charge. The child went to Fort Hamilton Hospital on March 21 for treatment of burns to her shoulder, arms and back, said Assistant Prosecutor Brad Burress. Authorities allege Nitz scalded the child with hot water, Burress said. The child has been placed with relatives. Judge Keith Spaeth has tentatively set Nitz's hearing for May 7.

• Jeremy P. Jackson, 19, of Hamilton, is charged with two counts of rape. Assistant Prosecutor Jennifer Muench-McElfresh said the county Children Services agency and Hamilton police launched an investigation after learning a 12-year-old girl was pregnant. The girl is due to give birth in late summer. Judge Matthew Crehan has set Jackson's court date for May 13.

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