Monday, September 03, 2012

Seven Alleged Members of Westwood-Area Drug Trafficking Organization Arrested

CINCINNATI—Teams of local law enforcement officers and federal agents this morning arrested seven people charged in complaints filed in U.S. District Court alleging that they conspired to distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana. The crime carries a punishment of at least 10 years and up to life in prison.

Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Robert L. Corso, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration, Detroit Field Division (DEA); Ed Hanko, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Cincinnati (FBI); and Cincinnati Police Chief James Craig announced the arrests, which occurred simultaneously starting at 6:45 this morning in the Westwood area of Cincinnati.

The seven charged in federal complaints are:

■Masai “Lee” Williams, 25
■David “Dirty” Alexander, 25
■Quincy Showes, 25
■Darias “Jizzle” Jackson, 22
■Bruce “Donnie” Stewart, 25
■Antonio “T.O” Howard, 34
■Randy Steele, 30

The teams also executed a series of search warrants and made arrests of individuals charged locally with drug trafficking.

“This is a coordinated attempt to dismantle an entire drug trafficking organization from top to bottom,” Stewart said.

For approximately eight months, the DEA Cincinnati Resident Office, the FBI Cincinnati Office, and the Cincinnati Police Department have been investigating a large scale marijuana trafficking organization in the Cincinnati, Ohio area. The teams making the arrests, which occurred without incident, included agents and officers from the agencies named above, in addition to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), who are part of the Violent Crime Enforcement Team; and the Hamilton County Police Association SWAT team.

Court documents allege that on May 25, 2012, undercover agents picked up approximately $500,000 from Williams and Alexander, and then again on June 5, 2012, undercover agents picked up approximately $400,000 from Williams, all of which agents believe to be proceeds from illegal marijuana trafficking. As a result of the undercover money pick-ups and further investigation into Williams and Alexander, the DEA Cincinnati Resident Office began a court-authorized wire interception on Williams’ cellular telephone beginning on June 28, 2012, and ending on August 8, 2012.

During the DEA wire interceptions, agents were able to identify Showes, Jackson, Stewart, Howard, Steele, and others as co-conspirators. The indictment alleges that Williams and Alexander arranged for loads of marijuana to be sent to the Cincinnati area from a source outside Ohio. Once the shipments of marijuana reached Cincinnati, the marijuana was allegedly given to Showes as a drug stash house keeper and would distribute the marijuana to Stewart, Steele, Howard, Jackson, and others.

The defendants appeared before a federal magistrate judge for an initial appearance and were held without bond until detention hearings can be conducted next week. The case could then be presented to a federal grand jury for possible indictments. This investigation is continuing.

Stewart commended the cooperative investigation by agents and officers of the agencies named above, as well as Assistant U.S. Attorney Karl Kadon, who is the lead prosecutor in the case.

A complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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