RICHLAND COUNTY, OH (WOIO) - Federal and local law enforcement officers arrested 25 out of 39 people during a drug sting in Mansfield early Wednesday.
The suspects were indicted on numerous charges including trafficking heroin.
Authorities say the men and women are accused in two separate conspiracies to obtain large amounts of heroin, and in some cases, other drugs, from out of state and sell the drugs in Mansfield.
The drug sweep involved officers from the Mansfield Police Department, FBI, DEA, and Richland County Sheriff's Office.
The US Department of Justice said the following 18 people are charged in a 41-count indictment with conspiracy to posses with intent to distribute heroin.
Eighteen people are charged in a 41-count indictment with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin.
They are: Lennon Hayes, 44; Roberto Calderon, 36, of Chicago; Demond Steele, 45; Tara Jones, 29; Edward Jones, 39, of Chicago; Mazzarney Hardy, 39, of Maywood, Illinois; Michael Ginn, 28; Steve Hollins, 42; Cupree Howard, 39; Marcus Garmon, 32; Ashley Kriedman-Crider, 28; Rickell Fields, 24; Marrico King, 40; Terrance Jones, 27; Natasha Brookins, 34; James Alexander, 32; Vanness Oliver, 39, and Jacquis Mordica, 26.
In a different case, 21 people are charged in a 33-count indictment with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute heroin, crack cocaine, cocaine and marijuana.
They are: Kevin Burton, 41; Antoine Jefferson, 39; Damon Slaughter, 41, of Westerville; Lewis Pinkston, Jr., 40; Brian Nowell, 44; Dorthea Burton, 34; Larry Ferguson, 41, of Louisville, Kentucky; Ericka Fortner, 27; Shadawn Smith, 25; Corey Motley, 36; Bronson Jones, 43; Deon Gamble, 34; Willie Feagin, 62; Jon Martel Jefferson, 30; Keith Maddox, 36; Amanda Huffman, 28; Michael Sloan, 60; Shantia Crawford, 27; Cardoves Haslett, 34; Shakela Williams, 23, and Joe Ware, 20. (The defendants are all from the Mansfield area unless otherwise noted.)
In one conspiracy, between June 2015 and the present, Lennon Hayes and Edward Jones obtained large amounts of heroin from Roberto Calderon in Chicago and then sold it in the Mansfield area.
Hayes and Jones sold the heroin to other dealers, including Demond Steele, Tara Jones, Mazzzarney Hardy, Michael Ginn, Steve Hollins, Cupree Howard, Marcus Garmon, Ashley Kriedman-Crider, Rickell Fields, Marrico King, Terrance Jones, Natasha Brookins, James Alexander, Vanness Oliver and Jaquis Mordica, according to the indictment.
In a different conspiracy, heroin, cocaine and marijuana was obtained from suppliers in Columbus and California, then resold in Mansfield and Louisville, Kentucky.
Kevin Burton obtained large amounts of cocaine from Antoine Jefferson. Burton sold the cocaine and also cooked some of it into crack cocaine. Burton and Lewis Pinkston also obtained large amounts of heroin from Damon Slaughter in Columbus, according to the indictment.
Burton sold the drugs to other dealers in the Mansfield area, including Pinkston, Brian Nowell, Dorthea Burton, Larry Ferguson, Corey Motley, Bronson Jones, Deon Gamble, Willie Feagin, Jon Martel Jefferson, Keith Maddox, Amanda Huffman, Michael Sloan, Rochelle Arrington, Shantia Crawford, Cardoves Haslett, Shakela Williams and Joe Ware, according to the indictment.
Some of the heroin and cocaine was later transported to Louisville and sold by Dorthea Burton and Larry Feguson.
"These groups brought heroin into Mansfield from out of state, sold it from houses in neighborhoods with families and used firearms to protect their operations," U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said. "Law enforcement did a tremendous job in dismantling these organizations."
"These 39 individuals were involved in a violent drug trafficking organization right here in middle America -- Mansfield, Ohio," said FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen D. Anthony. "Law enforcement will continue to work together and use every tool in our tool bag to rid our communities of dangerous drugs, and firearms, and hold these criminals accountable."
Members of both conspiracies used their residences in Mansfield for the purposes of storing and selling the heroin, according to the indictment.
Hayes, Jones, Burton, Maddox, Jefferson, Ware and others used firearms to protect their drug trafficking activities, according to the indictment.