Tuesday, June 25, 2019 Elyria 83°

Cops and Courts

13 indicted on drug charges from March raid in Lorain, Elyria


ELYRIA — Indictments have been handed down against 13 people caught up in a series of raids by Elyria and Lorain police officers in March.

Police seized more than $320,000 in drugs while conducting five separate search warrants in the two cities. At the time, officers said they found 435 grams of heroin, 1,020 grams of cocaine and seven pounds of marijuana.

Also seized during the searches were six handguns, six automobiles, three motorcycles, three ATVS and $83,445 in cash, police said at the time.

The indictments, which include charges of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity and conspiracy, among other allegations, include language that would allow prosecutors to keep $33,417 and 14 vehicles, including SUVs and dirt bikes if those charged are convicted.

Police said at the time of the arrest that the group was bringing large amounts of heroin into Lorain County from the Chicago area and selling it in the county.

Inspectors with the U.S. Postal Service also intercepted 2 kilograms of cocaine that police believe was intended for those involved in distributing drugs in the county.

Police identified Hugo Lopez, 46, and Rafael Esquilin, 34, both of Lorain, as alleged ringleaders of the drug distribution ring.

Lopez is charged with engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, two counts of conspiracy and four counts of trafficking in drugs, while Esquilin is charged with two counts each of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, conspiracy and permitting drug abuse in addition to single charges of having weapons under disability and possessing criminal tools.

Also facing charges are Rolando Carter, 26, Lorain; Ruth Rojas-Avelo, 40, Lorain; Eric Velazquez-Cosme, 30, Lorain; Angel Rivera, 61, Lorain; Eric Corn, 29, Lorain; Jonathon Barnette, 20, Lorain; Bobbie Corn Jr., 35, Elyria; Eliezer Claudio, 25, Lorain; Sherman Ward Sr., 59, Lorain; David Pena, 32, Lorain; and Carlo Lopez-Olmedo, 49, Lorain.

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