A total of 32 people, some affiliated with the dangerous street gang the Lakeshore Boyz, have been indicted for running a major heroin trafficking ring.
Heroin has become a huge problem in Cuyahoga County and Wednesday's announcement of the state and federal indictments came at a senior center in Collinwood, one of the many communities ravaged by heroin.
"We're not taking it anymore. We got a great neighborhood here and we're working our darndest to make it the best place to be and we're tired of a small group of individuals constantly throwing roadblocks in our way," says Cleveland Councilman Mike Polensek.
Officials say the heroin sales took place between February and August of this year. Many of the sales took place within 1,000 feet of a school, an additional violation that elevates each offense one felony level and will add to the severity of any sentences.
According to law enforcement officials, the 29 defendants who were indicted on state charges belonged to a loosely aligned group of retail-level heroin and cocaine dealers who operated mostly on Cleveland's far Northeast Side and in the city of Euclid.
The indictments are the result of a year-long investigation by the Northern Ohio Law Enforcement Task Force.
Some of those indicted and still at large are affiliated with the Lakeshore Boyz street gang. Anyone with information about their whereabouts is encouraged to call the FBI at 216.522.1400.