Five individuals facing charges in connection to three overdose deaths go before a judge to face their charges.
Morgan Bateman, Trevor Hinkle, Frank Bettinger Junior, Kevin May and Andrea Falcon all appeared in Common Pleas Court in Muskingum County on Wednesday.
In front of Judge Mark Fleegle, Bateman plead not guilty to two counts of trafficking in drugs and one count each of corrupting another with drugs and involuntary manslaughter.
Trevor Hinkle was involved in three separate cases. He plead not guilty in all three. In the first case that took place May 4-5, he was charged with corrupting another with drugs, involuntary manslaughter and trafficking in drugs. He also faces charges from a March case in which he is charged with trafficking in drugs, corrupting another with drugs and involuntary manslaughter. In another case from May 5, he faces charges of theft, illegal conveyance of drugs, tampering with evidence and possession of criminal tools.
Frank Bettinger plead not guilty to permitting drug abuse, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of drugs and trafficking in drugs.
Kevin May also plead not guilty to trafficking in drugs, possession of drugs and having a weapon while under disability.
Andrea Falcon plead not guilty to possession drugs and permitting drug abuse.
Authorities say three overdose deaths occurred between March and May that were connected to the suspects. Muskingum County Sheriff Matt Lutz says it’s believed a Columbus dealer and trafficker was supplying drugs to a dealer in Crooksville.