Tuesday, July 23, 2019 Elyria 67°
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Cops and Courts

Operation S.O.S lands 26 arrests in Lorain County

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ELYRIA — Nearly a year after the Elyria Police Department entered into a partnership with federal authorities to combat the sale and use of synthetic opioids, 26 people have been charged in connection with Operation Synthetic Opioid Surge, or S.O.S.

Officers joined officials and agents from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Northern District of Ohio to “reduce the supply of deadly synthetic opioids in high-impact areas and to identify wholesale distribution networks,” according to Elyria police.

As a result, Elyria’s Narcotics Unit charged 26 people with either trafficking in or possessing fentanyl, along with several significant violent and weapon crimes.

One of those was Johnny Mack III, a 39-year-old Elyria man indicted in February by a federal grand jury on charges of an attempted carjacking and stabbing of a 33-year-old woman outside an East Broad Street gas station in December.

The victim survived with minor injuries. Elyria Police Capt. Chris Costantino said Mack pleaded guilty April 9 in federal court and is being held in federal custody, awaiting sentencing.

Costantino said while Mack did not possess or sell fentanyl, Elyria police decided to hand the case over to their federal colleagues for prosecution.

“We felt that federal prosecution was the way to go on him, considering his prior record,” he said. “The Elyria Police Department will continue to work with local, state and federal partners to aggressively pursue individuals responsible for bringing illegal and deadly drugs into our communities.”

Charged by Elyria police and federal authorities in connection with Operation S.O.S., and already sentenced, were:

  •  Tony Carter, indicted in January on two counts of distribution of cocaine and heroin/fentanyl mixes, along with one count of conspiracy. He pleaded guilty in September and was sentenced Feb. 8 to 151 months in federal prison.
  •  Leon Robinson, indicted in October 2018 on three counts of distribution of heroin/fentanyl. He pleaded guilty in November and on March 14 was sentenced to 16 months in prison.
  •  Dennis Smith Jr., indicted in July on one count of distribution of fentanyl. He pleaded guilty in October and on April 2 was sentenced to 150 months in prison.
  •  Kenneth Ward, indicted in July on six counts of distribution of crack cocaine and heroin/fentanyl mixes. He pleaded guilty in November and was sentenced to 100 months in prison.

Those who pleaded guilty in federal court to various charges are:

  •  Anthony Blue, indicted in October on two counts of distribution of crack cocaine and a heroin/fentanyl mix. He pleaded guilty in February and is in custody in a federal prison in Youngstown awaiting sentencing.
  •  Doyal Cannon, indicted in August on two counts of distribution of crack cocaine and heroin/fentanyl mixes and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He pleaded guilty in March in federal court and remains in federal custody awaiting sentencing.
  •  Dameon Robertson, indicted in October on three counts of distribution of crack cocaine and heroin/fentanyl, along with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He pleaded guilty March 13 and awaits sentencing.
  •  Dwayne Taylor, indicted in August on eight counts of distribution of crack cocaine and heroin/fentanyl and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He pleaded guilty in January and remains in federal custody awaiting sentencing.
  •  Brandon Williams, indicted in October on six counts of distribution of crack cocaine and heroin/fentanyl mixes and possession with intent to distribute. He pleaded guilty earlier this month in federal court and remains in federal custody awaiting sentencing.

Those still awaiting trial or final resolution of their cases, and currently in federal custody, include:

  •  Pierre Alston, indicted in February on six counts of distribution of crack and heroin/fentanyl mixes.
  •  Walter Brown Jr., indicted in July on one count of distribution of heroin.
  •  Sean Byrne, indicted in November on six counts of distribution of heroin/fentanyl mixes, remains in federal custody in Youngstown pending resolution of his case.
  •  Stefan Carnes, indicted in January on two counts of possession with intent to distribute heroin/fentanyl, one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and one count of using a firearm in connection with a drug trafficking offense.
  •  Kayla Ellis, indicted in November on six counts of distribution of heroin/fentanyl. She remains in federal custody.
  •  Terrell Fennell, indicted in March on two counts of distribution of crack cocaine and heroin, one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and one count of use of a firearm in connection with a drug trafficking offense.
  •  David Jones, indicted in February on four counts of distribution of heroin/fentanyl and methamphetamine, one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and one count of using a firearm in connection with a drug trafficking offense.
  •  Brian King, indicted in October on three counts of distribution of crack cocaine. He remains in federal custody awaiting trial.
  •  Nick Latorre, indicted in October on three counts of distribution of heroin/fentanyl, he is in the Mansfield Correctional Institution on a parole violation.
  •  Matthew Makuch, indicted in December on five counts of distribution of heroin/fentanyl. He remains in federal custody awaiting trial.
  •  Abdul Mallory, indicted in December on five counts of distribution of crack cocaine and heroin/fentanyl. He remains in federal custody awaiting trial.
  •  Jovan Montgomery, indicted in December on four counts of distribution of heroin/fentanyl. He remains in federal custody awaiting trial.
  •  Joshua Novak, indicted in March on five counts of distribution of crack cocaine and heroin/fentanyl, along with one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He remains in federal custody awaiting trial.
  •  Christopher Robinson, indicted in July on three counts of distribution of heroin.
  •  Charles Urban, indicted on eight counts of distribution of crack cocaine, heroin, fentanyl and methamphetamine. He remains in federal custody awaiting trial.
  •  Dwon Williams, indicted in October on two counts of distribution of crack cocaine. He remains in federal custody.
Contact Dave O’Brien at (440) 329-7129 or do’brien@chroniclet.com. Follow him @daveobrienCT on Twitter.


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