FBI announces arrest of Youngstown drug ring members

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — After a year-long investigation, a total of 10 men have been arrested for what law enforcement said is their affiliation with a dangerous and violent gang.

Two of those men were arrested last week, and the other eight were rounded up Tuesday at a house on McGuffey Road on the city’s East Side. During Tuesday’s arrest, officers found a number of weapons inside the home, including a grenade launcher.

The 10 suspects will be arraigned at 1:30 p.m. Thursday in the courtroom of Mahoning County Common Pleas Judge John Durkin.

Officers still are looking for two of the suspects,  Tawaun Gordon and Derrick Franklin.

The suspects were secretly indicted on 20 charges by a Mahoning County grand jury last week. The charges include aggravated robbery, trafficking in counterfeit controlled substances, aggravated riot, felonious assault and trafficking in cocaine.

The gang is commonly known as the “E-Block gang,” which stands for Evanston Avenue on the West Side.

In 2013, the FBI started investigating members of the group because of ongoing violence on the city’s West Side. A man in his early 20’s was violently beaten at a gas station on Mahoning Avenue more than a year ago, and that case helped lead officers to members of a violent Youngstown gang.

“We identify a problem area, we always focus on the individuals who do most violent acts in the city,” said FBI agent Todd Werth.

The majority of the men arrested are facing up to eight years behind bars if they are convicted. A few have prior charges, and may face up to 30 years in prison.

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