Twenty-five people were indicted in federal court for their roles in a conspiracy to traffic drugs in Elyria and the surrounding area, including fentanyl, carfentanil, heroin, cocaine, crack cocaine and fentanyl analogues pressed to look like pills of Percocet.
Everyone indicted is from Elyria unless otherwise noted. They are: Troy Davis, 37; Reginald Jenkins, 40; Stephen Phares, 25; Deondre Vaughn, 35, of Cleveland; Jarell Davis, 29, of Cuyahoga Falls; Leon Lamont Washington, 42; Raymond Trenell Oliver, 43; Anthony Rodgers, 35, of Cleveland; Elonzo Davis, 44; Quadron Johnson, 31; William Solomon, 43; Malik Hobson, 38; Johnnie Lawrence, 38; Richard Fluker, 59; Troy Martin, 37, of Cleveland; Myron L. Pryor, 47, of Cleveland; Alvin Fennell, 48,; Terrance Williams, 25,; Aaron White, 22,; Alkeem Fennell, 25; Cassandra Studebaker, 25,; Courtney Warrens, 25; Tommie Richardson, 27; Arthur Solomon, 45, and Mickey Tramaine Wright, 25.
According to the 59-count indictment unsealed in U.S. District Court in Cleveland:
Troy Davis traveled to South Carolina to buy from Jenkins pills that were laced with furanyl fentanyl and pressed to look like 30 mg Percocet pills. Davis brought the pills to Ohio, where he sold them to Phares and others.
Troy Davis sold cocaine, crack cocaine, heroin, fentanyl and various fentanyl analogues to other drug dealers and customers in the Elyria area. Troy and Elonzo Davis, who are uncle and nephew, were supplied by Vaughn, Jarell Davis, Washington, Oliver, and Rogers. The Davis’ then resold the drugs to Lawrence, White, Pryor, Hobson, and others.
The Davis’ and others used homes in Elyria to store and sell the drugs. They also used numerous vehicles, including rental cars, as well as multiple pre-paid cellular telephones, to facilitate the shipment and sale of drugs.
“These defendants brought lots of deadly drugs into Elyria, including carfentanil and fentanyl,” U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said. “Law enforcement worked together to dismantle this organization and the lives of countless Elyria residents will be better because of those efforts.”
“Today’s indictment and arrests shut off a pipeline of dangerous drugs that have killed so many of our friends and neighbors and caused pain and destruction in our community,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Timothy Plancon. “This case is the result of a long joint investigation between DEA, Elyria police, the Lorain County HIDTA and many others. DEA will continue to work to reduce the supply of illegal narcotics hitting our streets.”
Elyria Police Chief Duane Whitely said: “The events today are the culmination of nine months of work aimed at attacking the drug trade in Elyria and surrounding areas. This investigation was initiated by the Elyria Police Narcotics Unit who partnered with the DEA Cleveland’s Office and the Lorain HIDTA. We are grateful for the excellent working relationship between all the Lorain County law enforcement agencies. We will continue working together to attack the illegal drug trade throughout Lorain County.”
“Through the cooperation of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies working together to share their resources, intelligence and manpower we can aggressively investigate drug trafficking organizations,” said Lorain County Sheriff Phil Stammitti. “These organizations from the street level dealer to the main source suppliers are drastically having a devastating effect on our communities. In conjunction with the newly formed Lorain County HIDTA, we are proud of all the units that work together to aggressively investigate and pursue these drug trafficking organizations.”
Ohio High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program Executive Director Derek Siegle said: “This case is an example of HIDTA’s ability to help coordinate investigations that span several city, county and state boundaries. We are building off our successes in other parts of Ohio to help make Lorain County and the entire region safer.”
Lorain Police Capt. Roger Watkins said: “We have always been appreciative of the level of cooperation between the local, State, and Federal law enforcement agencies in this area in combating the drug issues that plague our communities.”
“Opioids are killing people every single day in Ohio, and I firmly believe that those trafficking drugs into our communities have no regard for human life,” said Attorney General DeWine. “This case is yet another example of our commitment to stopping drug traffickers who are fueling the opioid epidemic, and I applaud the state, local, and federal authorities who aggressively worked on this case.”
This case was investigated by the DEA’s Cleveland office, Elyria Police Department, the Lorain County HIDTA — which is comprised of the Sheriff’s Lorain County Drug Task Force, DEA, Ohio Adult Patrol Authority, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Avon Lake Police Department, Avon Police Department, Amherst Police Department, Oberlin Police Department and Vermilion Police Department — Lorain Police Department, Lorain Prosecutor’s Office, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and U.S. Marshal Service. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Marisa T. Darden and Vasile C. Katsaros.
If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record, if any, the defendant’s role in the offense and the characteristics of the violations. In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the statutory maximum and, in most cases, it will be less than the maximum.
An indictment is a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.