On 05/21/17 at approximately 8:30 PM, the Whitehall Police Drug Unit officers, with the assistance of the Franklin County Sheriff’s office, stopped Craig Eric Newman driving a flatbed truck transporting horse bedding. Hidden inside the bedding, officers found a large shipment of marijuana and oxycodone pills. The drugs were being transported to Whitehall area for sale. Officers recovered 90 packages of marijuana derivatives (known as Dab), 357 containers of raw marijuana (various weights), 21 packages of raw marijuana (various weights), 31 packages of marijuana fruit edibles, 2 packages of marijuana suckers, and 176 oxycodone pills.
Newman has been the subject of an ongoing police investigation involving Whitehall and an agency in Colorado. Newman spent 10 days purchasing recreational marijuana from over 100 Colorado dispensaries. He spent over $47,000 by his own admission and was able to purchase over 350 ounces of marijuana to bring back to Franklin County to sell. He also “doctor shops” while in Colorado to obtain oxycodone to sell with the marijuana. When police served a search warrant at his residence, they found a stolen .45 caliber Hi Point handgun. Newman is not allowed to own firearms because of his extremely violent past. In 1984, he was convicted of Murder in Boonville, Indiana. In that case he shot a drug informant 3 times and then beat him in the head with a tire iron until he was dead, later dumping the body in a field. The court found that the crime was premeditated and sentenced Newman to 50 years in prison; however, he served only 14 years before being released, according to a 1984 news article.
“People think selling marijuana is no big deal, however marijuana drug sales are responsible for much of the violence in and around the Columbus area. Here is a perfect example of a violent felon, willing and able to kill, selling marijuana and oxycodone in our county and our city,” said Sgt. Dennis Allen of the Whitehall Police Drug Unit, “these candies are marketed towards children and were destined to end up in our school system.”
Newman has been charged with possession of oxycodone and more charges to include trafficking in drugs, receiving stolen property, and weapons under disability are expected to follow. Colorado may also charge him with transporting over state lines. He is currently in the Franklin County Jail.