A Youngstown man pleaded guilty on Tuesday to being a drug-ring leader that distributed marijuana and cocaine in northeast Ohio and western Pennsylvania.
Terrance Tarver, 39, of Youngstown, pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to distribute drugs in U.S. Northern District Court in Cleveland. Six counts of possessing drugs to distribute and distributing drugs were dismissed as part of the plea agreement.
Tarver is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 26 by U.S. Northern District Judge Dan Polster.
Nine others, including two other Youngstown men, Timothy Huges, 42, and Darnell L. Jones, 41, were indicted. Farrell, Pa. resident Darwin O. Crumby, 47, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and was sentenced to eight years and one month in federal prison.
The 122-page affidavit filed by Youngstown F.B.I. agent James C. McCann detailed the actions of the drug ring through 106 pages of wire taps on Tarver, who brought in drugs from five Columbus dealers.
McCann needed to get about 20 warrants from U.S. District Judge Sara Lioi in Akron because Tarver used 16 different phones from Aug. 31 to March 15, sometimes discarding phones three times in a single week.
The wire taps mostly deal with Tarver haggling with his Columbus suppliers over prices, arguments over Tarver shorting the suppliers money and the suppliers failing to deliver the requested amount of drugs. In one wiretap, Tarver discusses purchasing two kilograms of cocaine, priced at about $33,000 per kilo. On March 4, he talked with supplier Gerardo Ramirez-Torres, 30, Columbus, about buying 26 pounds of marijuana.
In another conversation, on Oct. 28, Akron resident Ratosha Reed, 31, was collecting drug money on Youngstown’s East Side and seemed to be struggling to collect. Reed told Tarver she had collected about $3,000 and would probably get $6,000.
“Man, I’m trying, man,” Reed said. “Trying to squeeze two sides of a turnip like seriously like. I can’t…you know what I mean. I’m doing the best I can.”
Reed is facing a conspiracy charge and the case is still pending.
They group also used coded language when talking differentiating between ordering cocaine and marijuana by using the terms “hanging dry wall” for selling cocaine and “hanging shingles” for distributing marijuana.
The case came to a halt March 15, when a joint effort by state and federal law enforcement conducted surveillance on a residence in a suburb about 16 miles north of Columbus.
The affidavit said Drug Enforcement Agency agents conducted surveillance near 1429 Park Club Drive, Westerville, believed to be the unknown man’s home. Agents saw two Hispanic men enter the residence at about 4:30 p.m. and left the apartment complex about a half-hour later.
Tarver then called a man accused of being a supplier from Columbus and said a meeting would take place in about 10 minutes. At about 6 p.m., the affidavit said, a Columbus surveillance team watched two Hispanic men push a Chevrolet Camaro into a garage at the apartment complex.
About 6:30 p.m. Tarver told the supplier he was at a McDonalds on Park Club Drive, where agents had observed him. The truck they were driving was registered to Hugh and the two pulled into the apartment complex.
Jones, then showed up at about 7 p.m. in a taxi and about 30 minutes later a white Chevrolet Equinox pulled away from the complex. About an hour later the Ohio State Highway Patrol, at the direction of the FBI and DEA, pulled over a taxicab Jones was riding on Interstate 71 in Ashland.
The affidavit said troopers found a half-kilogram of cocaine in the taxi and that Jones was transporting the cocaine from Columbus to Youngstown.
Tarver and Hough were also apprehended near the taxi.