Twenty people indicted for heroin, fentanyl drug trafficking in Cleveland

Posted at 12:16 PM, Oct 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-12 13:52:21-04

Twenty people were indicted Wednesday for bringing about 100 pounds of fentanyl, heroin and cocaine to Cleveland from Chicago and New York.  

As part of an investigation, law enforcement seized 29 kilograms of cocaine, six kilograms of heroin and one kilogram of fentanyl, as well as $400,000 and several firearms, according to a Department of Justice news release, citing an indictment. 

Named in a 51-count indictment are: Ismael Jacinto Acosta, 37, of Cleveland Heights; Alfonso  Rodrigo, 36, of Warrensville Heights; David Urrabazo-Maldonado, Jr., 29, of Madera, Calif; Tennille Bryant, 36, of Yonkers, N.Y.; James Carver, 36, of Yonkers, N.Y.; Van Herron, 34, of Cleveland; Jose Hernandez, 55, of Chicago; Octavio Rodrigo, 60, of Maple Heights; Juan Carlos Solis, 26, of Chicago; Mario Amador-Ramirez, 52, of Cleveland; Roland Francisco Rivera-Erazo, 32, of Honduras; Maurice Walker, 31, of Cleveland; Manuel Maldonado, 37, of Lyndhurst; Reinaldo Hernandez, 27, of Cleveland; Cesar Zambrano-Espinal, 27, of Cleveland; Kelvin Zambrano, 27, of Cleveland; Jonathan Stepp, 32, of Cleveland; Ryan Miller, 33, of Cleveland; Nancy Vargas, 33, of Tolleson, Ariz. and Margaret Fernandez, 35, of Warrensville Heights.

The defendants conspired together from 2010 through 2016 to obtain fentanyl, heroin, cocaine and marijuana from suppliers in Chicago and Yonkers, N.Y. and then sell the drugs in Northeast Ohio, the release said. 

Acosta received heroin from suppliers in Chicago, while Jose Hernandez supplied vehicles with trap compartments to move the drugs.  

Zambrano-Espinal used a home on West 130th Street in Cleveland to keep and distribute the drugs and money, and supplied heroin and cocaine to others who sold the drugs in Northeast Ohio. 

A house on Maple Heights Boulevard in Maple Heights was used to store and distribute drugs and money. 

Jose Hernandez used a commercial bus line to attempt to transport two kilograms of heroin from Chicago to Cleveland, while Bryant transported one kilogram of fentanyl from Yonkers, New York to Cleveland. Bryant and Carver, working with the Rodrigos and Urrabazo-Maldonado, then transported the kilogram of fentanyl to the Maple Heights Boulevard home, according to the release.

"This organization is responsible for bringing nearly 100 pounds of heroin, cocaine and fentanyl into Northeast Ohio,” U.S. Attorney Carole S. Rendon said. “Sadly, the death toll continues to mount from this epidemic. Daily we mourn as parents bury their children and children bury their parents. In response, we will continue to aggressively target drug traffickers, while working just as aggressively to reduce the demand for drugs and to provide treatment for those already addicted."