CLEVELAND, Ohio (WKBN) – Twenty people were indicted in a drug ring that investigators say was responsible for bringing over 100 pounds of heroin, cocaine and fentanyl to Northeast Ohio.
Prosecutors say commercial bus lines and vehicles with hidden compartments were used in the transportation of some of the drugs that traveled from Yonkers, New York and Chicago to the Greater Cleveland area.
Some of the conspirators had links to the Sinaloa cartel and notorious drug lord “El Chapo” Guzman.
Named in the 51-count indictment are: Ismael Jacinto Acosta, 37, of Cleveland Heights; Alfonso Rodrigo, 36, of Warrensville Heights; David Urrabazo-Maldonado, Jr., 29, of Madera, Calif; Tennille Bryant, 36, of Yonkers, N.Y.; James Carver, 36, of Yonkers, N.Y.; Van Herron, 34, of Cleveland; Jose Hernandez, 55, of Chicago; Octavio Rodrigo, 60, of Maple Heights; Juan Carlos Solis, 26, of Chicago; Mario Amador-Ramirez, 52, of Cleveland; Roland Francisco Rivera-Erazo, 32, of Honduras; Maurice Walker, 31, of Cleveland; Manuel Maldonado, 37, of Lyndhurst; Reinaldo Hernandez, 27, of Cleveland; Cesar Zambrano-Espinal, 27, of Cleveland; Kelvin Zambrano, 27, of Cleveland; Jonathan Stepp, 32, of Cleveland; Ryan Miller, 33, of Cleveland; Nancy Vargas, 33, of Tolleson, Ariz. and Margaret Fernandez, 35, of Warrensville Heights.
According to the indictment, the group conspired together from 2010 to 2016 to obtain drugs from suppliers in Chicago and New York and then sell the drugs in Northeast Ohio.
A home on West 130th Street in Cleveland and in Maple Heights were used to house and distribute the drugs and money.
“This organization is responsible for bringing nearly 100 pounds of heroin, cocaine and fentanyl into Northeast Ohio,” U.S. Attorney Carole S. Rendon said. “Sadly, the death toll continues to mount from this epidemic. Daily we mourn as parents bury their children and children bury their parents. In response, we will continue to aggressively target drug traffickers, while working just as aggressively to reduce the demand for drugs and to provide treatment for those already addicted.”
Kathy A. Enstrom, special agent in charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, said the indictments are victory for all citizens and commended local, state and federal law enforcement agencies for their work on the case.