WILMINGTON – Two local men have been charged with federal crimes related to alleged drug trafficking as well as a January shootout within the city limits.
Charles Stacey Brooks, 40, and Christian Burton, 21, both of Wilmington, received federal charges related to alleged weapon and drug offenses after search warrants were executed in February by the Clinton County Regional SWAT team and the Greene County SWAT team.
Wilmington Police Chief Ron Cravens told the News Journal two search warrants were served on South Walnut Street for a case of a “known drug trafficker” they’d been working on. The other was warrant was executed on a Thorne Avenue residence where one of the suspects had resided.
According to Cravens, Burton was the main focus of the investigation, with Brooks’ involvement in the shooting that occurred in January on South Walnut Street. Drugs were also involved, he said.
“This has been ongoing for several months,” said Cravens. “Then in January we had a shooting on Walnut Street … and we were able to connect these two. They have a direct correlation with one another.”
Through working with the FBI, they were able to secure federal indictments on both subjects.
According to a release from the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Brooks was allegedly in an active shootout in a residential neighborhood in January 2022. It is alleged that Brooks illegally possessed ammunition at the time of the incident.
According to pending local charges, on Jan. 12, Brooks and Burton, also of Wilmington, shot at each other while in a residential neighborhood of Wilmington. A 911 caller reported hearing at least three shots on South Walnut Street.
The caller said that one of the shots struck the outside of a car occupied by a man driving with his child.
Brooks has previously been convicted of felony crimes including robbery and aggravated drug trafficking. He was on parole at the time of the shooting.
Possessing a firearm or ammunition as a previously convicted felon is a federal crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Burton has been indicted by a federal grand jury. He was charged federally on Feb. 23 with seven counts of narcotics crimes, including distributing fentanyl and methamphetamine, and possessing with the intent to distribute methamphetamine.
If convicted, Burton faces a potential minimum of five years up to 40 years in prison.
Brooks is currently incarcerated in the Clinton County Jail since January and, according to Clinton Common Pleas Court Records, faces charges of alleged aggravated assault with firearm specification (felony 4), weapons under disability, discharge of a firearm, and tampering with evidence — all felony 3 charges.
Burton was indicted by a grand jury in Clinton County Common Pleas Court on charges alleged felonious assault (felony 2) and discharging a firearm (felony 3). According to Cravens, Burton is being held in federal custody.
Cravens thanked all those who assisted with the investigation, including local residents who provided tips, and the local SWAT team — comprised of members of WPD and Clinton County Sheriff’s Office — as well as the Greene County SWAT team.
“It’s good to report that the city is going to be a lot safer with these two individuals off the streets for quite some time,” said Cravens. “The drug trafficking and the acts of violence that we see on our streets are not going to be tolerated.”
Cravens told the News Journal this was “just the first step” and they anticipate more information on the cases “coming down the line.”
Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574