At least three Portage County residents are among 21 people indicted by a federal grand jury for selling heroin and other drugs across Northeastern Ohio over the past two years, authorities said Wednesday.
Three related drug-trafficking cases investigated over the past two years resulted in charges against the defendants, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio. Arrests were made Wednesday morning, authorities said.
The joint investigation leading to the indictments was conducted by the Portage County Drug Task Force, the FBI, DEA, ATF, Mahoning Valley Law Enforcement Task Force, the Youngstown Police Department and the Mahoning County Prosecutor’s Office. The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David M. Toepfer.
"Without a cooperative effort between local and federal agencies we would not have been as successful in shutting down this large-scale narcotics organization," said Capt. Larry Limbert, commander of the Portage County Drug Task Force.
Charged in one 35-count indictment were seven people, including Richard L. Jones, 50, of Ravenna.
Authorities allege that in 2015, Jones supplied heroin to Shajehan Haywood, 45, and Terrell L. Leonard, 38, both of Youngstown. Haywood and Leonard then allegedly sold the drugs to four other men — Willie J. Beacham, 69, of Youngstown, Ronald C. Gilbert, 40, of Youngstown, Ricky C. Jordan, 33, of North Lima and a Sebring man, Shane S. Blair, 38.
In another related case, 20 charges have been filed against two Ravenna men and a Summit County man for allegedly distributing heroin in the Ravenna area between November 2015 and January 2016.
Charged in that case were Antonio D. Liddell, 37, and Daryl Keith Jones, 50, both of Ravenna, and Brook Brooks, 36, of Twinsburg. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Jones and Brooks bought heroin in Michigan then sold it with Liddell’s help in the Ravenna area.