Six charged with conspiring to bring drugs into prison

CINCINNATI — A federal grand jury has charged six individuals in a narcotics conspiracy involving the alleged smuggling of narcotics into an Ohio prison.

Benjamin C. Glassman, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Angela L. Byers, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Division, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Warren County Sheriff Larry L. Sims announced the charges.

Each defendant is charged with one count of conspiring to possess with intent to distribute narcotics, a crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Those charged include: Joseph Brodbeck, 59 of Columbus; Alton Herron, 46 of Dayton; Gerry Branner, 27 of Cincinnati; William A. Lowery, 30 of London Correctional Institution; Daviontae Norvell, 26 of Dayton and Rodney J. Herron, 27 of Dayton.

According to the indictment, the defendants conspired to distribute Suboxone, cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana inside London Correctional Institute.

Brodbeck was a contract employee of the prison’s food service company and worked in the prison kitchen. He allegedly smuggled narcotics in to inmates after purchasing the narcotics in various cities in Southern Ohio, including Middletown, Dayton and Springfield. Brodbeck’s co-defendants were each inmates of the facility at one point and allegedly paid Brodbeck for the narcotics.

U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the investigation of this case by the FBI, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), Warren County Sheriff’s Office and Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections, as well as Assistant United States Attorney Christy L. Muncy, who is prosecuting the case.

An indictment merely contains allegations and defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.