ASHTABULA COUNTY, OH (WOIO) - The Ashtabula County Sheriff's office and federal officials held a news conference Monday regarding a federal indictment.
13 people who trafficked heroin in Ashtabula were indicted by a federal grand jury.
Police say their actions all played a part in the death of an Ashtabula woman. Jamarce Miller, a young mom, overdosed in July of 2012.
"This group is accused of bringing piles of heroin into Ashtabula, which directly resulted in the death of a young woman," says Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.
"Heroin abuse in Ohio and across the country is on the rise, and it is directly responsible for hundreds of overdose deaths every year," says Robert L. Corso, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. "This indictment illustrates that the DEA and our law enforcement partners will continue to aggressively target those individuals that choose to sell heroin in our communities, with total disregard for human life."
"In the past 2 ½ years, collaborative law enforcement initiatives have resulted in the indictment of more than 40 individuals responsible for dangerous illegal drugs in the Ashtabula area, 13 of those being responsible for heroin distribution and taken into custody today," says Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. "The FBI, through partnerships with state, local and federal agencies will continue efforts to dismantle drug trafficking organizations that bring danger to our residents."
Law enforcement personnel seized heroin, firearms and more than $320,000 in U.S. currency during the year-long investigation.
The indictment also seeks the forfeiture of five vehicles used as part of the conspiracy: a 2004 Chevrolet Suburban, a 2004 Cadillac CTS, a 2002 Cadillac Escalade, a 2004 BMW 745Li and a 1976 Oldsmobile Cutlass.
The indictment alleges that from March 2012 to August 15, 2012, defendant Rayshawn Reed arranged for multiple kilogram quantities of heroin to be brought into Northeast Ohio from the Chicago area.
The heroin was then distributed to co-conspirators in Ashtabula, including Sherord Miller and Jamarce Miller. Sherord Miller and Jamarce Miller then resold the heroin to other co-conspirators, including defendants Amanda Loving, Isaac Hawkins, Louis Snyder, James Robinson, Tricia Lewis, Joey Schmeisser, and Kevin Fridrich, and to heroin users.
Defendants Shaunci Osborne and Laketha Harris helped Sherord Miller sell and distribute heroin, and that Reginald Bryant furnished heroin to the co-conspirators during periods when shortages occurred, according to the indictment.
If convicted, the defendants' sentences will be determined by the court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendants' prior criminal records, if any, their role in the offenses, and the characteristics of the violations. In all cases the sentences will not exceed the statutory maximum and, in most cases, it will be less than the maximum.