July 17, 2002 at 4:23 PM EST - Updated July 1 at 8:55 AM
CLEVELAND (AP) - Federal drug agents believe that illegal drug deals sent drugs and money between Mexico and Ohio, according to a published report.
The Plain Dealer reported Wednesday that the alleged pipeline may have collapsed on Memorial Day, when federal agents and Parma police arrested a Parma man with about 50 pounds of cocaine.
Ronald Bakeman, Cleveland assistant U.S. attorney, said evidence of the money pipeline is based on thousands of taped phone conversations among drug dealers.
The government alleges the nephew of a Mexico drug kingpin was involved in the Ohio end of the link.
A federal probe began when an informant told federal drug agents that a Cleveland-area restaurant owner had been dealing cocaine in Lake and Cuyahoga counties. Agents placed a wiretap on the suspect's phone in December.
(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)