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Former Laurelville Police Officer Arrested on Drug Charges

CIRCLEVILLE (James Jackson/Ken Hines) -- A person close to a former police officer arrested on drug charges says the man is being punished for trying to help a childhood friend.

Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers arrested former Laurelville police officer Ronny Gillispie on Monday night after finding heroin and a syringe in his minivan during a traffic stop on US-23.

A woman who identified herself only as Gillispie's close friend told ABC 6/FOX 28 the drugs and paraphernalia actually belonged to a passenger in the van, Tommy Davis.

Gillispie was giving a ride to Davis -- whom he had not seen in years -- when he was pulled over, according to Gillispie's friend, who accused Davis of hiding the illegal items in the van during the traffic stop.

"He was trying to help somebody out, be a nice guy," Gillispie's friend said. "The guy threw his stuff down and wouldn't own up to it and be a man, and they both got it because the other guy wouldn't own up to it."

Gillispie was fired from his job at the Laurelville Police Dept. in mid-September after failing to return to work following a hand injury, according to the department's chief.

Prior to his firing, Gillispie had only been disciplined for tardiness.

"He's never been in trouble, he's a really nice guy," Gillispie's friend said. "He doesn't do anything, and this is all just blown way out. It's a big mistake."

Both Gillispie and Davis have been charged with possession of heroin and possession of a drug abuse instrument. Gillispie is scheduled to appear in court next week.
 
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