COLUMBUS Fallout continues in the alleged Scioto County pedophile-pill ring a federal grand jury indicted last month.
A recently unsealed arrest warrant shows federal agents took a 10th person into custody last week in connection with the case.
Larry Dean Porter, 69, was the accused ring leader of the conspiracy in which federal court records show he exchanged drugs in order to have sex with minors as young as 6. Porter’s daughters, Crystal and Denna, as well as his cousin Wayne, were accused of attempting to cover up the activity following Dean’s arrest on state charges in March.
Ralph Albert Aldridge, of Columbus, was taken into custody July 1, eight days after Porter, his family and various associates were indicted on federal sex trafficking and obstruction charges.
Aldridge is the husband of Crystal Porter and the brother of Joshua Aldridge, who was indicted on charges of sex trafficking and child sex trafficking conspiracy, according to court records.
Over the course of the investigation, federal authorities said they received information that Aldridge would travel from Columbus to Portsmouth at least once per month to deliver at least a pound of weed to his father-in-law, and possibly heroin.
Federal officers received a secret recording from a tipster in which Aldridge discussed went to Dean Porter’s house following his March arrest to look for something buried in a strawberry patch, according to court records. In the midst of digging in the yard for money, Aldridge learned there was an SD card inside a mason jar — Aldridge asked an informant to tell authorities they were searching for money, according court records.
Federal authorities later found the mason jar, which contained child pornography shot inside Dean Porter's house, records show.
More recently, Aldridge began asking people if they could take his cell phone so the feds couldn’t track his location, records show. The arrest warrant shows Aldridge told an associate he was going to get a hold of revolver to “take care of business” — federal investigators said witnesses believed Aldridge was going to kill an informant in the case.
A review of jail phone records between Aldridge and his wife Crystal showed him admitting to dealing drugs to his father-in-law and participating in the digging incident, court records show.
At one point, Aldridge told Crystal, “I feel guilty. I should be the one in there, not you,” federal records show.
“You didn't do anything, Ralph,” Crystal said, according to the warrant.
“I know, but I was the one who dug the hole, not you,” he replied, the warrant states.
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