Pickerington Man Faces Federal Drug Charges After Investigation Uncovers Drugs, Assault Rifle

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A Pickerington man is being held in jail on federal drug trafficking charges after a month-long narcotics investigation.

Franklin County Sheriff's deputies arrested 23-year-old Christopher McDowell on Monday night at his home on Belstone Street.

"This is the biggest thing that's happened around here," said Alan Trickle, who lives right across the street in the Fairfield Square neighborhood.

Trickle said his neighborhood is normally peaceful and safe.

But when police cars started lining up along his street Monday night, he knew something was not right.

Trickle later learned that agents stormed into the condo right across the street.

He says he didn't really know McDowell but had engaged in small talk with him a few times in the past year.

Now, Trickle is wondering how it came down to this.

"I was surprised, but I wasn't shocked,” Trickle said.  “I suspected something a long time ago, just for the hours he kept."

"When McDowell came up on the radar, we did some good surveillance, undercover techniques, and boom - we had a pretty good hit," said Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott.

Drug agents also executed a search warrant at a Beechton Road home about ten miles away in southeast Columbus.

Between the two locations, agents seized 2.5 kilos of powder and crack cocaine with a street value of $90,000. Investigators also found $116,000 in cash, plus an AR-15 assault rifle and two handguns, one with a 30-round magazine.

"When you're talking about $100,000 in cash, weaponry, along with the product, that makes a pretty significant player," said Scott.

Scott says there could be more arrests.

"Let's keep our fingers crossed, get some luck, and some good investigative techniques that continue, that we can pull some more people from the network," Scott added.

Agents from the Franklin County Sheriff's Office, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Franklin County Drug Task Force, the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the Fairfield Hocking Major Crimes Unit and the Pickerington Police Department had been investigating McDowell for more than a month.

McDowell currently is at the Franklin County Jail.

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