SWAT Raids Uncover Alleged Drug Trafficking Operation In South Columbus


10TV was on the scene last Friday when law enforcement across Franklin County served more than a dozen search warrants.  Investigators stayed tight lipped about who or what they were looking for, but now the reason has been revealed.

Three men faced a judge on felony drug possession charges.  They’re accused of receiving heroin from Mexico and unloading it on the streets of Columbus. Undercover officers testified investigators set up a half dozen wire taps and listened as they say Jack Morris and Keith Pippins set up a deal for eight ounces of heroin and plotted a retaliation shooting after a drug deal gone bad. 

Prosecutors say in February, the suspects missed their intended target in a drive-by shooting on Kossuth Street.  23-year-old Antwaun Waddell, who was sitting in the back seat of the target's car, was shot in the head.

Franklin County prosecutor, Ron O'Brien, argued the defendants are a threat to society.  “Here we have almost real time conspiracy to commit murder on the wiretap that the court heard about.”

Investigators say Friday's raids netted a stockpile of weapons and a ballistic vest, but officers say the shooting on Kossuth is the greatest threat to the community because investigators say the man who was shot is a known gang member and retaliation is almost a certainty.

"If a little gang retaliation is about to be visited on the south end, the whole community is safer if these guys aren't out here being targets," says O’Brien.

Police haven't officially charged anyone with the shooting of Antwean Waddell.  A grand jury will hear all of the evidence in the case and decide whether to file formal charges.