A 61-count indictment was filed in federal court charging 19 people for their roles in a drug conspiracy that brought large shipments of heroin to the Cleveland area and then distributed the drug in Ashtabula, Conneaut and Bellaire, Ohio and Wheeling, West Virginia, law enforcement officials said Monday.
Individuals from Ashtabula, Conneaut, Cleveland and Warrensville Heights are involved.
Prosecutors are seeking to forfeit 14 firearms, three vehicles, nearly $100,000 in cash and the proceeds of a $50,000 winning lottery ticket seized as part of the investigation.
Indicted are: Rayshone Mitchell, 37, of Euclid; Jermaine King, 39, of Warrensville Heights; T-Shawn Yarber. 35, of Ashtabula; Ashley Washburn, 29, of Ashtabula; John Sabo, 44, of Conneaut; Jeanie Sabo, 44, of Conneaut; Brenda Burdick, 55, of Conneaut; Jacob Payne, 23, of Ashtabula; Laroo Wells, 22, of Ashtabula; Francis Mitchell, 34, of Cleveland; Dawn Perry, 44, of Cleveland; Arthur Ezell, Jr., 24, of Ashtabula, Dymond Williams, 22, of Ashtabula; Julius Mitchell, 35, of Cleveland; Jacob Moser, 25, of Conneaut; Curry Williams, 24, of Ashtabula; Claude Bernard, 24, of Ashtabula; Michael Mlynek, 54, of Powhatan Point and Trayshon Kimbrough, 30.
Rayshone Mitchell and Jermaine King obtained heroin from outside Ohio from early 2014 through this year. Rayshone Mitchell supplied heroin to John and Jeanie Sabo, who in turn transported it to Ashtabula and Conneaut and redistributed it to Yarber, Washburn, Burdick, Payne, Well, Ezell, Dymond Williams, Moser, Curry Williams and Bernard to distribute in those cities. King provided heroin to Perry and Mlynek, who distributed it to individuals in Bellaire, Ohio, and Wheeling, West Virginia, according to the indictment.
Drug proceeds were then transported from those cities back to Rayshone Mitchell and King, according to the indictment.
All 19 defendants are charged in count one with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin.
Counts 2-24 charge various individuals with distribution of heroin. Counts 25-56 charge various individuals with use of a telephone to facilitate commission of a felony. Count 57 charges Perry with using a residence to store heroin and Count 58 charges Francis Mitchell with the same.
Count 59 charges Rayshone Mitchell with being a felon in possession of a firearm, for having five firearms despite convictions for aggravated robbery with a firearms specification, felonious assault and other convictions.
Count 60 charges Julius Mitchell with being a felon in possession of a firearm, for having two firearms despite convictions for drug trafficking with schoolyard specifications.
Count 61 charges T-Shawn Yarber with being a felon in possession of a firearm, for having a firearm despite convictions for drug trafficking, criminal gang activity and escape.
"These defendants profited off the pain and addiction of others," said U.S. Attorney Steven M. Dettelbach. "They left behind a trail of broken lives and damaged families from Cleveland to Conneaut, Ashtabula and elsewhere."
"This investigation demonstrates that the disruption of heroin trafficking is a top priority to DEA and our law enforcement partners," said DEA Special Agent in Charge Joseph P. Reagan. "We continue to focus on identifying and bringing to justice those individuals that are responsible for the increasing heroin problem in Ohio and across the United States."
"We're committed to working together with our partners to stay ahead of this problem," Ashtabula County Sheriff William Johnson said. "These investigations are lengthy but help us reduce the drug and major crime problems in our county."
"We are thankful for the state and federal partnerships we have that assist us in removing drug dealers from our community," said Capt. Jeff Orr, commander of the Trumbull Ashtabula Group Law Enforcement Task Force.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Henry F. DeBaggis and Daniel J. Riedl and following an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Ashtabula Police Department, the Ashtabula County Sheriff's Office and the Trumbull Ashtabula Group Law Enforcement Task Force, with assistance from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Belmont County Sheriff's Office, the Conneaut Police Department, the Cleveland Heights Police Department, the Ohio State Highway Patrol, the Cleveland Division of Police, the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Office and the Euclid Police Department.
Published by wkyc.com