CINCINNATI – A federal grand jury has charged 37 individuals with crimes related to narcotics and money laundering conspiracies in an indictment that was unsealed here today.
Those charged include 22 local individuals. Law enforcement agents arrested all 37 defendants late last week and over the weekend.
According to the indictment, beginning in March 2016 and continuing through October 2019, the defendants conspired to possess with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl, 500 grams or more of methamphetamine and five kilograms or more of cocaine.
The indictment alleges two Cincinnati businesses were used to launder proceeds from the narcotics conspiracy: Tri-State Jeweler on Race Street and Nationwide Automotive on Vine Street. It is alleged that cash was kept stored at both locations. The cash was then allegedly concealed and packaged to be transported to and from the Cincinnati region.
According to the 15-count indictment, between December 2018 and April 2019, defendants stored, at least temporarily, approximately $2.5 million at Tri-State Jeweler.
For example, Tri-State Jeweler accepted $1,400 in cash for the purchase of a diamond pendant necklace in May 2019, $15,000 for the purchase of a diamond ring in June 2019 and $4,000 for the purchase of a diamond ring in July 2019.
Also in July 2019, Nationwide Automotive accepted $38,800 in alleged narcotics proceeds for the purchase of a vehicle.
It is alleged at least $800,000 was laundered at Nationwide Automotive between November 2018 and April 2019.
Co-conspirators are also charged with maintaining drug premises on Prosser and Glenmore avenues in Cincinnati.
The government has seized more than half a million dollars in cash, 19 pounds of fentanyl, three pounds of heroin, 100 pounds of cocaine, 42 pounds of methamphetamine, 47 weapons, 12 vehicles, the jewelry store inventory, assorted jewelry belonging to defendants and residences valued at approximately $1.1 million total thus far in this case.
Those charged include:
|Jose Daniel Zazueta-Hernandez, aka Jesus Bojorquez, aka Dany||40||Wisconsin|
|William F. Graham, III||52||Cincinnati|
|Carlos Flores-Inzunza||31||Sinaloa, Mexico|
|Daniel Montez Blaine||50||Cincinnati|
|Raymond James Edwards, Jr.||53||Cincinnati|
|Carl Rena Gilbert||60||Cincinnati|
|Cardale A. Goens||32||Cincinnati|
|Ayman Anis Al Hajjeh||27||Wisconsin|
|Frances Alexia Mercado||24||Atlanta|
|Joel Salcedo||23||Las Vegas|
|Christopher William Talley||36||Cincinnati|
|Vilma Vidal-Flores||47||Las Vegas|
|Harold Lamar Walker||41||Cincinnati|
|Brandon Terrell Willis||43||Cincinnati|
|Ivan Courtney Johnson||39||Cincinnati|
|Vyacheslav Minyalo, aka Slavik||46||Cincinnati|
|Dewayne Lamont Walker||47||Cincinnati|
The narcotics conspiracy in this case is punishable by a mandatory minimum 10 years up to life in prison. The money laundering conspiracy is punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Congress sets the minimum and maximum statutory sentence. Sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the Court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.
David M. DeVillers, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Keith Martin, Special Agent in Charge, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); and Bryant Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Criminal Investigations, announced the charges. Criminal Chief Karl P. Kadon and OCDETF Chief Christy L. Muncy are representing the United States in this case.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), United States Marshals Service, and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) assisted in arrests.
Members of the DEA’s Task Force include: Cincinnati, Golf Manor, West Chester, Norwood, Montgomery, Colerain, Springfield Township, Delhi Township, Harrison, Kenton County, Covington, Florence and Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport police departments, Hamilton County and Boone County sheriff’s offices, the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), Ohio National Guard, Butler County Undercover Regional Narcotics Task Force, Ohio State Highway Patrol and Kentucky State Police.
An indictment merely contains allegations, and defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.