175 grams of cocaine confiscated

A 70-year-old man remained in the Wayne County Jail as of Friday on drug charges after a search warrant executed at his home yielded nearly 175 grams of cocaine.

Cleveland Thomas, 70, of 3989 Canal Road, Wooster, was arrested and charged for possession and trafficking in cocaine in Wayne County Municipal Court. A preliminary hearing is set for Thursday.

His bond was set at $250,000 cash or surety.

The Medway Drug Enforcement Agency executed a search warrant at Thomas' residence in Wooster Township on Thursday at noon, confirmed Don Hall, the agency's director, as a part of an ongoing investigation.

The Wayne County Sheriff's Office's SRT unit was at the scene as well.

An affidavit filed with the court describes the property as a leased lot Thomas owns. Based on previous information he hid narcotics around the property, agents began searching outside the residence.

Suspected cocaine was located in a disturbed area of mulch and flower beds. In total, 173 grams of cocaine with a $20,000 street value were seized from the property.

Thomas allegedly admitted to trafficking cocaine and crack cocaine. He reportedly told agents he had a contact in Columbus and Canton he would buy drugs from, before selling to people he trusted in Wooster.

Thomas, according to the affidavit, told investigators he was in Columbus the previous day to pick up four ounces of cocaine at $1,200 an ounce, and could sell it in Wooster for $2,800 ($100 per gram, at 28 grams an ounce). He reportedly had picked up four ounces at a time from his Columbus contact over the past two years.

Digital scales and suspected Vicodin pills were found hidden in a vent in the residence and seized, according to the investigation report.

Thomas was the only person home at the time of the warrant execution. He was arrested without incident.

Thomas pleaded guilty in 2007 in Wayne County for possession of crack cocaine and aggravated possession of drugs. He was sentenced to four years community control, and was discharged from that program successfully in 2009 after completing all of the requirements, according to court records.

By STEVEN F. HUSZAI  @the-daily-record.com

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