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3 arrested for allegedly distributing half a ton of cocaine in Greater Cleveland

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Posted at 3:25 PM, Mar 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-15 18:37:49-04

CLEVELAND — Three men have been indicted on charges for allegedly distributing more than 1,100 pounds of Cocaine around the Greater Cleveland area, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The defendants, a 49-year-old man from Cleveland Heights, a 41-year-old man from Cleveland and a 41-year-old man from Mexico were charged Tuesday in federal court.

All three are charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances, interstate travel in aid of racketeering, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, distribution of cocaine, international money laundering and use of a communications facility to facilitate a felony drug offense. The Cleveland Heights man is also charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

The attorney's office said the man from Mexico shipped drugs from Mexico to a Cleveland warehouse controlled by the Cleveland Heights man in June 2020. The Cleveland man, and others, then distributed the drugs across the area in vehicles "fitted with traps and hidden compartments." Records of the transaction were recorded in a hand-written ledger. Proceeds from the cocaine sales totaled more than $13 million. Those proceeds were then sent back to Mexico.

The attorney's office said there are additional people involved in the trafficking conspiracy who remain at large. Information regarding those individuals was not provided.

“Drug trafficking organizations target communities like Cleveland because they mistakenly assume nobody is paying attention,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Michelle M. Baeppler. “To those drug traffickers, both foreign and domestic, who think that our communities and neighborhoods here in Northern Ohio are open for your businesses – know that we are watching, we are paying attention, we will act and we will not stand for it.”

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