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Cops and Courts

Four charged after pair of Lorain drug busts

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LORAIN — Two recent drug busts in the city have resulted in various drug- and weapons-related charges against two people and misdemeanor charges against two others.

Jeffrey Kovach and Michael Cintron, both 19 and of Lorain, were arrested Tuesday by the Lorain Police Narcotics and Special Investigations Unit after a traffic stop on a 2009 Dodge Journey near Washington Avenue and West 22nd Street.

Officers “attempting to combat the recent spike in gang- and narcotic-related violence within the City of Lorain” found Kovach and Cintron in the vehicle. Both men allegedly are associates of a criminal street gang on Lorain’s south side, according to Lorain police.

During their investigation, detectives seized 10.2 grams of crack cocaine, 4.7 grams of methamphetamine and 3.8 grams of heroin found in Cintron’s underwear, all packaged for sale. Also seized were multiple cell phones and $1,960, police said.

Cintron was charged with aggravated trafficking in drugs within a school zone, a second-degree felony; one count each of trafficking in cocaine within a school zone, trafficking in heroin within a school zone and aggravated possession of drugs, all third-degree felonies; possession of cocaine and possession of heroin, both fourth-degree felonies; and possession of drug paraphernalia, a fourth-degree misdemeanor.

Kovach was charged with driving under suspension, an unclassified misdemeanor, and operating a vehicle bearing an invalid license plate, a fourth-degree misdemeanor.

During the investigation and as police worked, 19-year-old Kashawna Fisher — whom police said is the mother of Kovach’s child — “arrived on the scene unannounced” and “after being told not to do so ... attempted to push her way into the vehicle.”

Fisher was arrested and charged with obstructing official business, a second-degree misdemeanor, and disorderly conduct, a fourth-degree misdemeanor, according to Lorain police.

All three were transported to Lorain City Jail and booked. Fisher and Kovach posted bond and were released, while Cintron was being held on $600,000 bond after his arraignment Wednesday in Lorain Municipal Court, according to Lorain County Jail records.

Cintron’s prior criminal record includes tampering with evidence, fleeing and eluding, carrying a concealed weapon, receiving stolen property, resisting arrest, obstructing official business and several misdemeanor drug offenses, according to Lorain County Jail records.

Fisher has no prior criminal record, records showed, and previous records under Kovach’s name were not immediately available.

In a separate incident

April 1, the Lorain Police Narcotics and Special Investigations Unit arrested 30-year-old Cesar Melendez-Perez, of Lorain, on charges including trafficking in cocaine and possession of cocaine, both first-degree felonies with firearms specifications; having weapons under disability, a third-degree felony; criminal damaging, a second-degree misdemeanor; possession of drug paraphernalia, a fourth-degree misdemeanor; and several misdemeanor traffic violations following a traffic stop on an Acura TL in the area of Tacoma Avenue and East 42nd Street.

A search of the vehicle turned up about 88 grams of cocaine and a loaded 9 mm handgun that was found in the trunk, according to Lorain Police.

Melendez-Perez, who also had several outstanding warrants for his arrest through both Lorain and Cuyahoga county authorities, was taken into custody. Prior to being taken to Lorain County Jail, he allegedly kicked the rear window of a Lorain police cruiser, breaking it off its track and resulting in the vehicle being taken out of service of repair.

The case against Melendez-Perez has been bound over to the Lorain County grand jury for consideration of charges. Additional or amended charges are possible.

Melendez-Perez’s prior record includes arrests for burglary, intimidation of a crime victim or witness, drug trafficking, domestic violence, assault, failure to appear in court and driving under suspension, according to Lorain County Jail records.

The Lorain Police Narcotics Unit encourages residents to report any suspicious activity that could be drug and/or gang related by calling (440) 204-2108 or via tip411 at lorainpolice.com/submit-a-crime-tip. Callers and tipsters may remain anonymous.

Contact Dave O’Brien at 329-7129 or do’brien@chroniclet.com. Follow him at @daveobrienCT on Twitter.

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