Wednesday, September 20, 2017 Elyria 67°


Elyria police track down suspected drug dealer


Efforts to identify the elusive Elyria drug dealer, “Rico,” finally paid off on Tuesday morning when police raided a house in the 700 block of Clark Street.

Around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, police arrested 28-year-old Jonathon Steele, the man who they believe goes by the street name “Rico” on four counts of heroin trafficking, possession of heroin, possession of criminal tools and drug paraphernalia.

Police also charged his friend, Yona Mills, 37, with heroin trafficking, possession of heroin, permitting drug abuse and drug paraphernalia.

Jonathon Steele moved to Elyria from Cleveland only recently but he quickly made a name for himself here.

“This guy kept coming up under the street name ‘Rico,’ ” said Elyria police Capt. Chris Costantino, explaining how Steele would allegedly conduct drug deals under a fake name to remain anonymous.

For the past several months Elyria police have been looking into Rico’s identity as part of a larger investigation into heroin trafficking around the area.

When police identified Steele as a heroin trafficker, Costantino said they were able to conduct an early morning raid during which they arrested Steele and Mills and seized heroin, money and two sport bikes. The bikes are classified as criminal tools because Steele allegedly used them to deliver heroin to clients.

Along with Steele and Mills, police found five children in the house and one 18-year-old. One child was Steele’s son, one was a 15-year-old friend and the 18-year-old was Mills’ child. Police did not release the connection of the three remaining children to Steele or Mills.

Children Services has been contacted to handle the welfare of four of the children.

Though Steele is from Cleveland originally, he frequented Elyria in the past few years. He has a history of crime in Elyria that includes multiple traffic violations, possession of marijuana and receiving stolen property since 2011.

Mills has no past violations in Elyria.

Both Steele and Mills were transported to Lorain County Jail to await arraignment.

Contact Anna Merriman at 329-7245 or

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