Scioto County Sheriff David Thoroughman announced that a complaint of a suspicious person in West Portsmouth led to the discovery of a large amount of methamphetamine.

On Wednesday, May 4 at approximately 1:26 a.m., a call came into the Emergency Communications Center of the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office. The caller advised of an unknown person in her driveway in West Portsmouth.

Deputy Kade Conley was dispatched, and upon his arrival the complainant advised that the unknown male was dropped off by a person in a black Ford Mustang. The complainant advised that the vehicle then came back, driving at a high rate of speed.

Deputy Conley, following up on the complaint, continued along the road with Sergeant Brian Nolen. They located two vehicles parked in the roadway, blocking the road. One of the vehicles was a Ford Mustang, and the second vehicle was a Mazda truck.

Deputies located a male subject near the truck. That male, William Smith, had a warrant for his arrest.

In plain view inside the truck was allegedly what appeared to be a black handgun and a drug needle. Deputies located what allegedly appeared to be marijuana and a digital scale, which is used in the sale of drugs, inside the truck.

A male, who identified himself as the owner of the residence, advised that Smith, his daughter and a male named Charles Lute were the only ones supposed to be in the residence.

Deputies conducted a warrant check on Lute and discovered a warrant for his arrest. Deputies asked permission to enter the residence to confirm that this is the correct Charles Lute. The homeowner advised deputies that he would go get Charles Lute.

As the owner entered the house, the deputies remained outside the entrance, watching the owner. The owner entered a separate room, at which time deputies allegedly heard screaming and arguing from within the room. The deputies then entered to ensure the safety of everyone inside.

Deputies allegedly located drugs, a firearm and drug paraphernalia in plain view after entering. The homeowner then reentered the vehicle that he arrived in. Sergeant Nolen asked if he had anything illegal in the truck, and he allegedly advised that he had a small amount of marijuana. Shepherd allegedly removed a container which contained marijuana. Deputies allegedly located a set of scales in the truck.

Deputies contacted the Organized & Major Crimes Task Force to respond. A consent search was conducted of the residence, and a locked safe was allegedly located, as well as a “pill press.” The homeowner advised that he did not know whose safe it was, nor how it got secured to the walls of his residence. The Task Force took possession of the safe, transporting it to their office, in attempts to obtain a search warrant.

Smith, 41, of West Portsmouth was arrested on a warrant for contempt of court out of the Scioto County Domestic Relations Court. Also arrested was Charles M. Lute III, 32, of Portsmouth on a bench warrant for escape.

A search warrant was obtained for the safe. Inside the safe was allegedly located 125 grams of meth, 34 grams of fentanyl, seven grams of cocaine, $1,000 cash and two sawed-off shotguns with lasers.

The case is still under investigation and will be presented to a Scioto County Grand Jury for charges.

Sheriff Thoroughman requests anyone wishing to leave drug information to phone the Task Force tip line at (740) 354-5656 or email All information will be kept confidential and anonymous.