Chicago/Cleveland drug ring busted up, 16 arrested

Sixteen people were indicted on drug trafficking, illegal firearms and money laundering charges for their roles in a group that is accused of bringing cocaine, heroin and marijuana from Chicago and selling it in Cleveland.

The ring operated between March and September 2012, according to the indictment. The defendants are from Cleveland unless otherwise noted.

The indictment charges Richard Price, Jr., aka "Richie," age 23; Alexander Abreu, aka "Cuba," age 42; Geraldo Maldonado, aka "Lalo," age 37; Richard Maldonado, age 27; Joshua Johnson, age 21; Robert Hoover, age 27; Gordon Egan, age 19; Reginald Hart, age 34, of Bedford; Pedro Gonzalez, age 29; John Childrey, age 22, of Brook Park; John Hoch, age 19, of Middleburg Heights; Michael Young, age 24; Patrick Corrigan, aka "Patrick Marflak," of Lakewood; and Cory Box, age 20, of Westlake, with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute at cocaine, heroin, and marijuana.

Richard Price, Jr., is also charged with distributing cocaine and heroin, possessing with intent to distribute heroin, possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense, being a felon in possession of firearms, maintaining a premises for drug trafficking, and money laundering. Joshua Johnson is also charged with distributing heroin.

John Hoch and Alexander Abreu additionally are charged with money laundering.

Finally, Breanna Johnson, age 19, of Cleveland, Ohio, is charged with distributing heroin while Richard Price, Sr., age 49, is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. "This groups is accused of bringing a variety of drugs, including heroin, cocaine and marijuana, from Chicago to the west side of Cleveland," said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, and Robert L. Corso, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

"Today's arrests should send a message to those who seek to profit from the drug trade."

Corso said: "This drug-trafficking organization, led by Richard Price, was unique in that it supplied the west side of Cleveland with such a vast array of illegal drugs. These arrests effectively cut off a pipeline that fed the streets of Cleveland. The success of this sophisticated investigation is directly related to the strong cooperation and support between DEA and our lawenforcement partners."

The indictment describes a conspiracy in which Price, Jr., obtained cocaine, heroin, and marijuana from Abreu and other suppliers and then distributed the drugs to numerous dealers in the Cleveland area, while being assisted by several of the co-conspirators.

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