A large federal drug operation was underway Wednesday morning as authorities indicted 25 people for conspiracy to traffic drugs in Elyria and surrounding areas, according to the Department of Justice.
The drugs included fentanyl, carfentanil, heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine and fentanyl analogues pressed to look like Percocet.
News 5's Tracy Carloss was there while the drug bust was underway.
— Tracy Carloss (@TracyCarloss) June 27, 2018
The following people were indicted:
- Troy Davis, 37, of Elyria
- Reginald Jenkins, 40, of Elyria
- Stephen Phares, 25, of Elyria
- Deondre Vaughn, 35, of Cleveland
- Jarell Davis, 29, of Cuyahoga Falls
- Leon Lamont Washington, 42, of Elyria
- Raymond Trenell Oliver, 43, of Elyria
- Anthony Rodgers, 35 of Cleveland
- Elonzo Davis, 44, of Elyria
- Quadron Johnson, 31, of Elyria
- William Solomon, 43, of Elyria
- Malik Hobson, 38, of Elyria
- Johnnie Lawrence, 38, of Elyria
- Richard Fluker, 59, of Elyria
- Troy Martin, 37, of Cleveland
- Myron L. Pryor, 47, of Cleveland
- Alvin Fennell, 48, of Elyria
- Aaron White, 22, of Elyria
- Alkeem Fennell, 25, of Elyria
- Cassandra Studebaker, 25, of Elyria
- Courtney Warrens, 25, of Elyria
- Tommie Richardson, 27, of Elyria
- Arthur Solomon, 45, of Elyria
- Mickey Tramaine Wright, 25, of Elyria
Troy Davis went to South Carolina to buy Jenkins pills laced with fentanyl that were pressed to look like 30 mg Percocet pills, DOJ officials said.
"The fact that people could be ingesting what they thought was Percocet which contained fentanyl is incredibly dangerous," said U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman.
Davis and Elonzo Davis, who are uncle and nephew, were supplied with drugs by Vaughn, Davis, Washington, Oliver and Rogers, officials said. Davis and others used homes in Elyria to sell and store drugs.
The nine month long investigation started with neighbor complaints according to Elyria police. "While this started with our narcotics unit, it developed quickly into something much bigger," said Elyria Police Chief Duane Whitely.
That's when the DEA was brought in to help with the investigation. "The people who were arrested today were a nuisance, a problem in Elyria for a number of years," said DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Keith Martin.
Lorain County recently became part of the Ohio High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program or HIDTA. "This case is an example of HIDATA's ability to help coordinate investigations that span several city, county and state boundries, said HIDTA Executive Director Derek Siegle.
The DOJ said the suspects used numerous vehicles, including rental cars, as well as pre-paid cellular phones to organize shipment and sale of drugs.
The case was investigated by the DEA's Cleveland office, Elyria Police Department, HIDTA, Lorain Police Department, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and U.S. Marshal Service as well as several other departments.