CANTON, OH (WOIO) - Five Canton men indicted on a charge of conspiracy to distribute cocaine, said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, and Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the Cleveland Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Cleveland office.
Those men are Jamail Cortez Mitchell, 22; Chad Irvin Tucker, 24; Cruz M. Brown, 23; Jermaine E. Gaitor, 28, and Kevin Slater, 57, all of whom were arrested this morning.
"This is an example of federal and local law enforcement working together to make sophisticated cases that take out groups that bring down the quality of life for everyone," Dettelbach said. "We believe this investigation will eliminate some of the worst of the worst offenders in Canton and Stark County."
"In the past 15 months, collaborative law enforcement efforts have resulted in the indictment of 26 individuals, including nine who were taken into custody this morning, responsible for bringing cocaine and violence to the Canton area," Anthony said. "The FBI and our local partners will continue efforts to protect the citizens of Canton by dismantling dangerous, illegal drug organizations."
Related state charges were filed against three other people as well.
Mitchell, Tucker, Brown, Gaitor and Slater are accused of conspiring to distribute more than five kilograms of cocaine and more than 280 grams of crack cocaine in Canton between June 2010 and October 2011, according to the indictment.
The men purchased crack and powder cocaine from previously indicted conspirators and resold the drugs in and around Canton, according to the indictment.
This case is a supplemental indictment to the one filed on May 22, 2011, which charged 17 people with taking part in a conspiracy that brought heroin and cocaine from Columbus, Ohio, to Stark County. All 17 people have been found guilty and many have been sentenced to terms between five and 10 years in prison. Jasmine Watkins, one of the leaders the conspiracy, pleaded guilty and is facing a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years in prison.
These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Linda H. Barr following an investigation by the FBI's Safe Streets Task Force, which is comprised of the Canton Police Department, Alliance Police Department, Ohio Adult Parole Authority, Stark County Sheriff's Office, Massillon Police Department and Perry Police Department.
An indictment is merely an accusation. All defendants are presumed innocent of the charges until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in court.