DAYTON - A joint investigation into gun and drug trafficking in Dayton has led to one arrest and more than 30 guns being confiscated, Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer announced Thursday.
Officers with the Montgomery County Regional Agencies Narcotics & Gun Task Force said the investigation spanned nine-months and there could be more arrests to come.
"These are violent criminals selling guns on the streets and causing problems in our neighborhoods," Plummer said as he praised the work of the RANGE officers.
Dwight Stargell Sr., of 223 S. Ardmore Ave. in Dayton, is being held in the Butler County Jail and will be charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm, dealing in firearms without a license, possession of a firearm in the furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, distribution of cocaine and possession of a sawed off shotgun.
He was arrested at his home Wednesday where Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents and RANGE task force detectives served a search warrant and confiscated three firearms, cocaine and marijuana.
A total of 35 firearms, nine of which have been identified as stolen, were recovered from Stargell's home during two separate searches and through purchases by undercover officers.
Three of those weapons are connected to the death of Dayton business owner Tommy Nickles in April, for which Stargell's nephew Anthony Stargell Jr. has been indicted on murder and 22 other felony counts.
The firearms are mostly handguns, but also included a sawed off shotgun, two assault rifles with high capacity magazines and other rifles and shotguns.
"That will rip through your car, your vest, everything," RANGE field commander Sgt. Mike Brem said about one of the assault rifles.
"Firearms trafficking is a crime that affects everybody," said ATF Resident Agent in Charge Scott Chard. He said agents will work to track the weapons, determine where they came from and return the stolen firearms to their owners.
RANGE detectives had been conducting an undercover investigation of Stargell for four months when his nephew was arrested April 11 in connection with Nickles' slaying.
"We got information that one or multiple guns from a homicide had made their way over to Dwight's house," Brem said.
A search warrant was executed at Stargell's home on April 19 and detectives found cocaine, marijuana, the sawed off shotgun, a pistol and ammunition. A firearm used in Nickles' death was recovered at that time.
Anthony Stargell's trial date has not been set. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty, but his lawyer submitted a motion to dismiss the death penalty specifications on Monday along with a dozen other motions requesting disclosure of various State's evidence.
Anthony Stargell is accused of shooting both Nickles and his golden retriever to death in an apparent robbery at Nickles' Quality One Electric business at 838 S. Main St. on April 3.
Dwight Stargell was convicted of carrying a concealed weapon and trafficking in counterfeit drugs in 2007 and sentenced to six months in prison.