FBI agents and several other law enforcement agencies executed eight arrest warrants and seven search warrants in Massillon and throughout the Akron and Canton area in connection with a major drug take down operation.
FBI sources told newsnet5.com’s Bob Jones the raid involved crystal meth trafficking and could have ties to heroin in California.
newsnet5.com was at the scene as officers raided a home on Lincoln Way Northwest. Officials said Carlos Elias and his wife, Lisa, were arrested on federal drug charges. Five children--ages 1 to 16--were removed from the home. A family member went to the house early on Wednesday to pick up the kids.
Elias is said to be the local distributor of drugs. According to FBI Special Agent Todd Krajeck, Elias imported two to five pounds of crystal meth per month from California for $2,400 a pound. He then allegedly sold the drugs for $11,000 to $14,000 a pound.
Law enforcement also searched locations in Akron, Medina County, Tuscarawas County and Canton.
Agents raided El Galeron restaurant on Cleveland Avenue in Canton. Authorities said they expected to find evidence connected to the drug trafficking organization at the restaurant. Two guns were seized during that search. Eight guns were from various locations.
Krajeck said a total of 11 people were charged in connection with the investigation. As of 1:30 p.m., 10 had been arrested. Those suspects were scheduled to appear in federal court in Akron Wednesday afternoon.
Those arrested included Carlos Elias, 33, Lisa Elias, 36, Nikki Greenwood, 37, Michael Mack, 39, Wilmer Martinez, 25, Steven Petit, 35, and Richard Stewart, 57. Robert Willham, 36, is still at large, officials said. All were charged with intent to distribute and distribution of crystal methamphetamine, and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and distribution of crystal methamphetamine.
Jose Cuevas, 28, Javier Roque, 30, and Nicholas Stewart, 35, were previously arrested and charged locally in Stark and Summit counties on drug trafficking and weapons violations, officials reported.
Local FBI agencies are working in partnership with the Sacramento, Calif. FBI.
The operation was dubbed 'Schrock & Awe' throughout the day. It's said to be the culmination of a nearly six month investigation by law enforcement into a Mexican drug trafficking organization.
To date, officers working on the investigation have seized 10 firearms, a pound of cocaine, 145 lbs. of marijuana with a street value of $150,000, 11 lbs. of meth with a street value of $150,000, and $100,000 in cash.
“This ring is responsible for shipping pounds of crystal meth into Stark and Summit counties,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Carole S. Rendon. “The fact that this pipeline was shut off is a credit to the FBI, the Akron and Canton police departments and our other law enforcement partners.”