Portsmouth attorney detained by agents, house and office raided



Photo credit: Chad Gentry

A prominent attorney in Portsmouth was briefly taken into custody by agents while his home and business were raided.

It happened Wednesday morning in Scioto County just after 8 a.m.

Michael Mearan was seen being placed into handcuffs by agents in vests while crime lab trucks were at his home and business on Sixth Street.

Mearan, 74, is a one-time city councilman.

BCI agents were seen outside the home duplicating electronic devices for evidence collection while the now-disgraced lawyer sat in a chair with restraints.

It has been said by federal agents that Mearan is involved in human trafficking and prostitution.

An 80-page affidavit that was posted on Facebook and unsealed last year in federal court states that Mearan is a high-profile, very active sex trafficker who — for decades — has supplied young women with drugs in exchange for acts of prostitution.

continue reading below image

Photo credit: Chad Gentry

The affidavit by the federal agent linked the lawyer to dozens of women who worked for him as prostitutes, including one woman who has been missing since 2013 and another found dead.

In 2019, ten women interviewed with a Cincinnati-area newspaper in a year-long investigation. Those women said Mearan, who was their public defender, promised lenient sentences from judges he knew and parole officers who would ignore probation requirements, as long as the women were willing to have sex for money.

Mearan was seen driving away after being released from detainment.

The Guardian has reached out to law enforcement for more information.

This is a breaking news story.

The Scioto Valley Guardian is the #1 local news source for the Scioto Valley. The Guardian was previously two publications, Fayette Advocate (2012) and Chillicothe Guardian (2018), respectively. Their parent company merged the two publications in 2019 -- forming The Guardian -- and expanded the coverage area to include the entire Scioto Valley.