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Nine arrested in Lorain Co. heroin drug raids

Posted at 6:21 PM, Mar 10, 2016

This is another painful day for Diann Keim.  

She’s packing up her son's personal belongings from his Lagrange apartment.  

“He loved to wear this hat he was a western boy, he loved to hunt, fish and mud trucks,” Keim said.

"We were best friends and the biggest part is he's not here anymore," Keim said.

Nick Billy died 13 days ago from a heroin overdose. He was 19 years old.

"Heroin is not a pain killer, it kills people, it takes them away forever,” Keim said.

Billy was one of at least eight heroin-related deaths in just the last two weeks in Lorain County.

During a news conference Thursday afternoon, Lorain and Elyria police said they served five search warrants resulting in nine arrests of "high level" dealers.

Five more people are wanted.

Lorain police said detectives seized 435 grams of heroin, 1,020 grams of cocaine, and 7 lbs. of marijuana, equating to a street value of $200,000. $320,000 worth of drugs were seized total, Reporter Paul Kiska was told. Police said six handguns were also seized. 

In addition to the drugs and guns, police said six cars, three motorcycles, three ATV's, and $83,445 in cash was seized. 

Police said the drugs were coming into Lorain from Chicago. 

The suspects, held on a charge of Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity, were booked at the Lorain City Jail on a $1 million bond. The suspects are:

  • Hugo Lopez, 45, arrested in Florida by US Marshals Service
  • David Pena, 32, arrested in Florida by US Marshals Service
  • Rafael Esquilin, 34, arrested in his home in Lorain
  • Enid Rojas, 40, arrested in her home in Lorain
  • Eric Corn, 29, arrested in his home in Lorain
  • Bobbie L. Corn, 35, arrested in Lorain
  • Angel Rivera, 61, arrested in Lorain
  • Jonathon Barnette, 19, arrested in his home in Cleveland
  • Eliezer Claudio, 25, arrested in Lorain

The five suspects police are still searching for are:

  • Rolando Carter, 26, of Lorain
  • Carlos Rau Lopez, 49, of Lorain
  • Feliz Guzman, 40, of Elyria
  • Sherman Ward, 59, of Lorain
  • Eric Velazquez Cosme, 30, of Lorain

Police admitted these raids won't stop the heroin epidemic, but for now, they put a major dent in those dealing the deadly drug.

"Some of the drugs that the street dealers supply to those that overdosed and died, came from these guys,” said Lorain Police Sergeant James Welsh.

"I hope they arrest them, I hope they get it all off the street, because somebody else out there is going to lose their child or their parent, because of this,” Keim said.