Ohio News: Twenty-two people indicted for their roles in a conspiracy to traffic fentanyl, heroin, fentanyl analogues including carfentanil and other drugs, which they sold in Euclid and Cleveland to customers from across Northeast Ohio

Ohio – Twenty-two people were indicted in federal court for their roles in a conspiracy to traffic fentanyl, heroin, fentanyl analogues including carfentanil and other drugs, which they sold in Euclid and Cleveland to customers from across Northeast Ohio.

Named in the 42-count indictment are: Joseph P. Gray, Jr., 30; Malcolm Gibson, 26; Samuel Gibson, 26; Mark Evans, 44; Westley Siggers, 37; Raqwan Ofield, 22; Paul Bell, 33; Larry Jackson, 30; Ricky Jackson, 29; Brendan Craig, 29; Aaron Crosby, 29; Chino Massey, 30; Shondell Mack, 28; Lejon Kidd, Jr., 22; Da’eon Gray, 22; Aminah Colvin, 25; Shanita Jennings, 29; Leanna Nabulsi, 27; George Salem, 22; Jeffrey Auvil, 36; William Bloomfield, 33, and Christina Gordenier, 42.

According to the indictment:

Gray led a drug trafficking organization that sold heroin, fentanyl, fentanyl analogues (such as carfentanil or acetylfentanyl), crack cocaine and powder cocaine. It concentrated on customers from the east side of Cleveland, Euclid and Lake County. The “heroin” sold by the group was generally fentanyl, fentanyl analogues or a mixture of those drugs and heroin.

Members of the conspiracy used phones in the names of other people to avoid detection by law enforcement. They shared a single “customer phone” that was passed between members of the conspiracy so that customers could obtain drugs at any hour, day or night.

Siggers, Ofield, Ricky Jackson, Crosby, Massey, Kidd and other members of the organization primarily sold to their own customer bases, but coordinated with Gray to keep an inventory of drugs available for sale. The Gray organization discussed not keeping a large inventory of drugs on hand because of the legal and financial risk. They often re-supplied in small quantities, sometimes on a daily basis.

They directed customers to specific locations where they would meet and sell drugs, including a residence on Arcade Avenue in Cleveland, a residence on Huntmere Avenue in Cleveland, the parking lot of a Family Dollar Store in Cleveland and the intersection of East 246th Street and Ellsworth Avenue in Euclid.

They also used a commercial property on Holmes Avenue in Cleveland as a centralized location to weigh and package drugs, conduct drug transaction and counting and dividing drug trafficking profits.

The drug organization accepted payments in cash, through the purchase of gasoline and other goods, and through digital payment services such as Cash App.

Gray and others possessed and used firearms to protect their drug trafficking activities.

Siggers in January 2018 possessed six grams of cocaine and four grams of a mixture of carfentanil, heroin and cocaine in Willoughby.

Siggers also sold a mixture of heroin, fentanyl and fentanyl analogues on June 6, 2018 in Wickliffe, and the buyer overdosed. When officers attempted to stop Siggers, he fled. He possessed 29 grams of fentanyl analogues and nearly five grams of cocaine

Gray on January 8, 2019, possessed a loaded Sig Sauer .40-caliber pistol, two grams of crack cocaine and nearly five grams of fentanyl analogues when he was arrested Cleveland after fleeing from law enforcement. Gray was charged with possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

On January 10, 2019, Gray, Crosby, Ofield and Gray and others possessed at the shop on Holmes Avenue a money counter, a scale, drug packaging materials and a range of drugs, including approximately 37 grams of crack cocaine, four grams of a mixture of heroin, fentanyl and fentanyl analogues, one gram of a mixture of fentanyl, carfentanil and heroin, one gram of a mixture of fentanyl and cocaine.

“These defendants sold deadly drugs, including fentanyl, carfentanil and heroin, to customers who came into Cleveland and Euclid from across the region,” U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said. “We will aggressively prosecute those who seek to profit from this drug epidemic that has affected so many of our friends and neighbors.”

“This investigation is a result of the dedication of the men and women of the Cleveland OCDETF Strike Force,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Timothy J. Plancon. “Their efforts have resulted in the arrests of individuals who had no regard for the destruction their drug trafficking actions inflicted on northeast Ohio communities. DEA’s goal is to keep the public safe from the dangers of drug abuse. DEA will continue to collaborate with our law enforcement partners to ensure that those who look to exploit the vulnerabilities of others are brought to justice.

Euclid Police Chief Scott Meyer said: “The Euclid Police Department would like to thank our federal, state, county and local partners. I want to specifically recognize the DEA and our task force partnership with that organization. Law enforcement has an obligation to address the dysfunction, chaos and danger created by those who choose to traffic in drug and gun violence. The Euclid Police Department will continue to proactively address those who participate in illicit and violent activities which have an adverse and negative impact on our community. Euclid is a diverse community of good, hardworking and caring residents. We will continue to work with any individual, group or organization that shares the mission of making Euclid a safe and vibrant community for all.”

“The importance of collaboration and teamwork in law enforcement operations cannot be understated,” said Cleveland Police Chief Calvin D. Williams. “This particular investigation spanned multiple counties, cities and communities and would not have come together so comprehensively without the partnerships between the agencies you see here today. The hard work of the investigators, detectives, agents and attorneys has paid off in the indictment announced today.”

The case remains under investigation.

If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.

This case was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Cleveland Division of Police, the Euclid Police Department, and the Suburban Police Anti-Crime Network, which includes the police departments of Lyndhurst, Highland Heights, Mayfield Heights, Mayfield Village and Richmond Heights. This case was investigated as part of the Cleveland Strike Force. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Marisa T. Darden and Elliot Morrison.

This case is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation. The OCDETF Program was established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multilevel attacks on major drug trafficking, money laundering and violent criminal organizations operating domestically and internationally. The principle mission of the OCDETF Program is to identify, disrupt and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking, money laundering and violent criminal organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s drug supply.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.


SOURCE: news provided by JUSTICE.GOV on March 13, 2019.