Duo charged in fatal Hamilton robbery remain housed in county jail awaiting trial

Credit: Butler County Jail

Credit: Butler County Jail

HAMILTON — Two Virginia men remain housed in the Butler County Jail awaiting trial for murder in a fatal shooting that killed a co-conspirator when the trio allegedly went to a Hamilton residence to rob a man.

Brandon Hill, 22, and Damian Owens, 27, were indicted in February by a Butler County grand jury for murder, aggravated burglary, aggravated robbery and felonious assault for their alleged part in the crime that led to shooting death of Jason Hendricks, 35.

Prosecutors said Hill and Owens went with Hendricks to the residence of John Andrews Jr. on Bingham Street to rob him, but Andrews shot in self-defense, killing Hendricks. The indictment was unsealed on March 17 after nine search warrants were served in Butler County, and Andrews was taken into custody on drug charges.

Owens and Hill were arraigned Butler County Common Pleas Court where bond was set at $1.5 million, according to court documents. Both men were back in court Wednesday where Judge Greg Howard set a pre-trial hearing for July 6. Trial dates have not been scheduled.

The group was allegedly involved with a large drug seizure in June and a shooting death in September. The searches resulted in the recovery of approximately 700 pounds of marijuana with a street value estimated to be around $2 million, 10 firearms, multiple vehicles and more than $50,000, according to the Butler County Sheriff’s Office.

Andrews 36, of Hamilton was indicted by a federal grand jury on 21 counts including including possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm by a prohibited person and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense.

He is in federal custody awaiting trial scheduled for Aug. 15 in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati.

According to federal court documents, Andrews is one of two men investigators say were supplying large quantities of marijuana to rival gangs in Hamilton.

Investigators said since “December of 2019, FBI Cincinnati, the Butler County BURN Task Force, Hamilton Police Department, Hamilton County RENU Task Force and the Middletown Police been involved with a multi-agency joint investigation into an ongoing violent and deadly gang turf war occurring in Hamilton and the surrounding areas between the “Thirty Gang” and the “RU Gang.”

Hamilton Police have identified 40 known profiled members of the Thirty Gang and 67 known profiled members of the RU Gang, according to court documents.

The court records state the “multiple sources” indicate Andrews, known as “Bark Bark,” and another man were operating a large drug trafficking organization and are primary marijuana suppliers for both gangs.

Investigators indicated Andrews, who is a already a convicted felon, operated his drug operation from his residence in the 4400 block of Bingham Street.

Between the dates of Jan. 25 and Feb. 5, 2022, undercover agents purchased marijuana directly from Andrews. The documents also say methamphetamine was at Andrews’ residence. On Jan. 11, Andrews made a social media post that seemed to indicate he needed someone “whacked” at Warren Correctional Institution, according to federal court documents.

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