Two facing drug counts: Police say man is large-scale heroin dealer

Two local residents have been arrested on multiple drug-related charges including dealing in heroin.

The arrests were made Tuesday night as part of a lengthy investigation conducted by the Bartholomew County Joint Narcotics Enforcement Team, said Lt. Matt Harris, Columbus Police Department spokesman.

After receiving several anonymous tips and interviewing multiple witnesses and overdose victims, narcotics team detectives identified Matthew “Matty” Zook, 34, of 2622 Pavia Court, as a large-scale heroin dealer in the Bartholomew County area, Harris said.

Detectives said they believe Zook was driving to the Cincinnati area to purchase heroin Tuesday and Deputy Jon Lanning saw him traveling on County Road 800N, stopping the vehicle after seeing a traffic violation, Harris said.

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Deputy Matt Bush and K-9 Diesel were asked to go to the scene and the canine alerted police to the odor of narcotics in the vehicle, he said.

More than 34 grams of heroin — as well as two grams of methamphetamine, marijuana, suboxone strips, drug paraphernalia, money and a handgun — were found in the vehicle, Harris said.

Zook was arrested on charges of dealing in heroin, possession of heroin, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a controlled substance and possession of a handgun without a permit, Harris said.

A passenger, Tasha L. Barnes, 34, of 2842 Lamplight Drive, was arrested on charges of dealing in heroin, possession of heroin, possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance, Harris said.

Zook and Barnes are being held without bond in the Bartholomew County Jail, jail officials said.

An investigation is continuing and additional arrests are expected, Harris said.

The narcotics enforcement team is a task force made up of police officers from the Columbus Police Department, Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Department and a deputy prosecutor from the Bartholomew County Prosecutor’s Office.

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Julie McClure is assistant managing editor of The Republic. She can be reached at jmcclure@therepublic.com or (812) 379-5631.