The battle against drugs in Ohio is taken very seriously. The problem of drug abuse in the state has been described by some as being of pandemic proportions. Because of that, state lawmakers are in the midst of a holding a series of hearings across the state to examine the topic. The first of four, as the Wilmington News Journal reported, was held this week.
Of particular concern to officials is the spread of heroin in the state. It should come as no surprise, then, that authorities are pouring a lot of resources into doing what they can to clamp down on suspected drug dealing. One example of their efforts is evident in the recent reported arrests of at least four individuals on a variety of drug charges.
Officials say the last of the three arrests occurred this week. They say two of the suspects were taken into custody in Pittsburgh. The other was arrested at the international airport in Cleveland. All three are now facing accusations of conspiracy to possess cocaine with the intent to distribute. Officials say the probe also looked into suspected heroin trafficking, though no charges related to that substance are known to have been filed.
Prosecutors say the arrests marked the end of an investigation that started back in May when authorities placed taps on cellphones belonging to the three suspects and others. Over the course of June and July, federal agents, officers from the U.S. Postal Service, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, and Los Angeles coordinated efforts and reportedly tracked what they believe were several drug deals involving the suspects.
The man authorities picked up at the airport had also been arrested earlier this month in California. He is reported to have appeared in a federal court in Ohio Wednesday and was slated to appear in a Pittsburgh court before this week is out.
The two Pittsburgh suspects are said to have made initial appearances in federal court in Pennsylvania Wednesday.
Source: The Plain Dealer, “Cleveland man arrested at airport in cross-country drug ring investigation,” Cory Shaffer, Aug. 20, 2014